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Federal agencies are just like state agencies!
Federal agencies are part of the executive branch of government and have been created by Congress to carry out its legislative will.
Just like the Arizona legislature, Congress often enact statutes that create a broad framework for an area of law and then creates an agency with the power to make regulations to fulfill the purpose of the law and fill in the details, enforce the law and regulations, and adjudicate disputes.
Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Child Labor Example
Congress created the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division and enacted statutes regulating employee wages and hours.
For example, Congress passed a statute to outlaw oppressive child labor. Then, the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division enacted regulations to fulfill the Congressional purpose of outlawing oppressive child labor.
REMINDER: Because there are laws and regulations on the same topic, remember that no federal statutory research is COMPLETE without finding any applicable federal regulations.
The child labor statute is located at 29 U.S.C.A. § 212 in the United States Code.
The child labor regulations are codified at 29 C.F.R. § 570.1 et seq. in the Code of Federal Regulations.
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the official publication for the current regulations of federal agencies.
Code of Federal Regulations Organization
The CFR is organized much like the United States Code (USC). The regulations are codified by topic in 50 titles that are divided into chapters, subchapters, parts, and sections. The CFR titles do not necessarily correspond to the USC titles of the same topic.
Citation example - 29 C.F.R. § 570.1
Notes of Decision
If you are using a commercial online service such as Westlaw or Lexis, you have the usual editorial enhancements like notes of decision (cases that interpret the regulations aka statutory annotations) and historical information.
Remember that NO federal statutory research is COMPLETE without also searching for any applicable federal regulations, because there are often statutes AND regulations on the same topic (as in the child labor example).
Yayayayayay there is NOT MUCH new to learn about searching for federal regulations because statutes and regulations are so similar.
There are two main way to find federal regulations.
1. FINDING CITATIONS TO REGULATIONS IN SOURCES
You can find CFR citations while reading secondary sources, cases, statutes, etc.
2. SEARCHING THE DATABASE DIRECTLY
Westlaw - Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
Lexis - Code of Federal Regulations
Updating a regulation with KeyCite or Shepard's is just like updating a statute.
Just like statutes, there are three things you want to know when you are updating a regulation (Arizona or federal).
Most Current Version
A regulation with a recently adopted amendment that changes the text of the regulation will have a red flag/symbol.
Negative Treatment from Case Law
A regulation with negative case law treatment will have a yellow or red flag/symbol.
Proposed Amendments to Regulations
A regulation with a pending proposed amendment will have a yellow flag/symbol.
The Federal Register is a record of the rulemaking activities of federal agencies. The Register contains proposed and final regulations as well as notices, executive orders, and other information.
There are TWO main purposes of the Register.