Select Page

Legal Writing
UMKC School of Law
Popper, Judith

RESEARCH EXAM OUTLINE II
 
 
 
 
 
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY…………………..…………………………………………………1
 
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW………………………………………………………………………4
 
STANDARD OF REVIEW……………………………………………………..…..………….10
           
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY
 
*Legislative History
– Legislative History = all the documents created by a legislature during the process of drafting, debating, and enacting a law (statute)
• Includes the text of the original bill, proposed amendments, committee and subcommittee reports, and floor debates
– Mixed primary and secondary authority
• Primary because it includes some documents that represent the law itself (such as the final statute passed by the legislative body and signed by the executive)
• Mostly secondary authority (reports and documents that explain or trace the history of a statute as it worked its way through the legislative process)
– Legislative history exists for federal statutes and may exist for some state statutes (not for Kansas and Missouri)
– Legislative history is used to glean the purpose or the intent of the legislature in passing the statute and to determine why it chose the specific language it used
 • Facts uncovered by legislative history research can provide a basis for legal arguments regarding how the court should construe language in a statute or a regulation passed to carry out the statute
 
* When Interpreting a Statute:
– Static View: looks at plain language, common sense interpretation
– Relative View: compares/contrasts other statutes or cases
– Dynamic View: looks at statutes in evolving view, legislative history, what has been amended away
– We are looking for consistency among all three statutory interpretations
 
* The Documents of Legislative History (the Federal Legislative Process)
1. Referred Print: The first step is the introduction of a bill (a proposed law) into either the House or Senate. The proposed bill is assigned a letter and number designation (H.R. ### or S. ###) to track the bill. The referred print can be compared with later versions of the bill to show the intent of Congress because changes imply that the legislature made the change to accomplish a specific purpose

it must be sent back to the first chamber. If the amendments are controversial or substantial, a conference committee made up of members of both chambers may be convened to iron out details.
7. Enrolled Bill or Act: The version passed by both chambers is sent to the President to be signed. If the president does not sign the bill within 10 days it automatically becomes law. If the President vetoes the bill, it goes back to Congress and may be overridden by a 2/3 vote of each chamber.
8. Presidential Statement: The President may issue a statement upon the signing of a bill and is required to indicate reasons or objections if he vetoes the bill. It may be helpful in revealing the intent of the Congress (as well as executive intent) if Congress makes changes to meet the President’s objections. After the President signs a bill it will become a slip law and the code.