Citing Government & Legal Sources

Sources to help with citing government information

Citing Government Information

Citing Government and Legal Sources can be difficult. I've listed some resources on this guide to assist you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Citing Government Documents: Webinar

APA Legal Citation: How APA Differs from The Bluebook

APA and other style guides rely mostly on The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation for Legal Citing

For APA, consult the print Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association in Appendix 7.1: References to Legal Materials on pp. 216-224 (in 6th edition) or  Chapter 11 on pp. 355-368 (in 7th edition). APA gives general examples but for more detailed information refers to the Bluebook.  The major difference between the two, according to the APA Style Guide, is Bluebook lists references as footnotes but APA uses a reference list instead.  Books and periodicals (other than law reviews) are cited in regular APA style.  

For more detailed information on citing students should consult The Bluebook. State specific examples are available in the Bluebook;  The Greenbook sets forth detailed Texas legal authorities.  

Also see: Cornell University's webpage: How to Cite U.S. Government Documents in APA Citation Style

Legal Citation: Bluebook, Greenbook & APA

Congressional Record - Daily vs Permanent Bound Editions - Citing

Congressional Record Daily Edition reports each day's proceedings and is printed and delivered to all members of Congress by the following morning.  It contains four independently-numbered parts:

  • House Proceedings
  • Senate Proceedings
  • Extension of Remarks (additional materials inserted into the public record by legislators)
  • Daily Digest (brief overview)

The Daily Edition includes the prefixes H, S and E. before page numbers. 
Example: 159 Cong. Rec. H227 (daily ed. Jan. 23, 2013) (statement of  Rep. Yarmuth)  

Permanent "Bound" Edition is the annual compilation of all the Daily Editions for an annual session, re-paginated, edited, and permanently bound.  There is a delay of several years for this to be produced. 

The permanent edition does not include prefixes and is cited by volume and page number. 
Example: 142 Cong. Rec. 14982 (1996).


     142 Cong. Rec 14982 (1996) (statement of Sen. John McCain).

Cite the Daily Edition only for matters not yet appearing in the permanent edition.

Citing Historical Legislative Materials