Title 28 of the United States Code

The United States Constitution sets out the powers that Congress may invoke to enact legislation. Relying on these powers, Congress has passed laws on a wide range of topics, from agriculture to war. In 1926, Congress compiled these general and permanent laws into the official United States Code (U.S.C.). The Code is organized by subject matter into 54 titles (one of which is reserved). The Office of Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives issues a new edition every six years. The updates reflect changes in the law, including adding new legislation and amendments and removing repealed or expired sections. There are also unofficial sources of the Code, which are issued by private companies; many of these are annotated, which is helpful for research, but they typically are not used for citation purposes.

Title 28 of the U.S.C. is codified as “Judiciary and Judicial Procedure,” and covers topics relating to the federal judicial system. The United States Constitution established the Judicial Branch in Article III, but it did not explain how the court system was to be structured beyond stating that “the Judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time establish.” Until the start of the twentieth century, the structure of the federal court system hung together through piecemeal legislation that led to inefficiency and ambiguity. After previous attempts to create a unified judicial code failed, Congress enacted Title 28, which became effective in 1948. The goal of the title is to ensure that the structure of the judicial branch is efficient and complies with the tenets of federalism. To achieve this end, the Title 28 dictates the rules of jurisdiction, venue, appellate review, and other related issues.

Note that only selected sections of Title 28 are provided in this book. The official version of Title 28 of the U.S. Code can be found at https://uscode.house.gov/.


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Rules and Laws for Civil Actions Copyright © 2024 by Stella Burch Elias; Derek T. Muller; Jason Rantanen; Caroline Sheerin; and Maya Steinitz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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