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Bluebook Rules: Citing Statutes

Overview

If you are using the Bluebook for a citation guide then it is very likely that you will need to cite a statute. This page will give you a basic overview on citing statutes using Bluebook format. Rule 12 is the go-to rule for case citation.  You can find Rule 12 in the White Pages on page 120. 

State Statute Citation Rules

Be sure to use T1.3, page 248, to find specific rules for statutes citations of U.S. States and D.C. Oklahoma's rules can be found on page 287. Oklahoma's statute citation rules are reproduced below.

Oklahoma Statute Citation

Statutory Compilations

Oklahoma Statutes (West)

<year> Okla. Stat. tit. X, § X (<year>)

Oklahoma Statutes Annotated (West)

<year> Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. X, § X (West <year>)

Session Laws

Oklahoma Session Laws (West)

<year> Okla. Sess. Laws <page no.>

Oklahoma Session Law Service (West)

<year> Okla. Sess. Law Serv. <page no.> (West)

 

Specific Bluebook Statute Citation Rules

  1. Rule 12.2: When to use each form
  2. Rule 12.3: Unofficial Codes
  3. Rule 12.4: Session Laws
  4. Rule 12.5: E-media & Online Sources
  5. Rule 12.6: Secondary Sources
  6. Rule 12.7: When prior or subsequent statutory history may or must be cited
  7. Rule 12.8: Use of Explanatory Parenthetical Phrases
  8. Rule 12.9: Special Citation Forms (IRC, Rules of Evidence & Procedure, etc.)
  9. Rule 12.10: Short Forms

General Statute Citation Rule

General Rule (Rule 12.2.1):

  • If available, cite to either a current official code or its supplement.
  • If an official code is not available, then cite to (in order of preference):
    • Current unofficial code or its supplement;
    • Official session laws;
    • Privately published session laws;
    • Commercial e-database;
    • Looseleaf service;
    • Internet source; or
    • Newspaper

Examples of Statute Citation

Cited to Current Official Code

·      42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2006).

·      National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 § 102, 42 U.S.C. § 4332 (2006).

·      Consumer Credit Code, Okla. Stat. tit. 14A, § 6-203 (1996).

Cited to Current Unofficial Code

·      12 U.S.C.A. § 1246 (West 2010).

·      Parking Authority Law, 53 Pa. Stat. Ann. Tit. 53, § 342 (West 2010).

Cited to Official Session Laws

·      National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Pub. L. No. 91-190, § 102, 83 Stat. 852, 853 (1970) (prior to 1975 Amendment.

·      1951 Ill. Laws 1060.

Cited to Privately Published Session Laws

·      Uniform Commercial Code—General, Provisions, 2004 Minn. Sess. Law Serv., ch. 162, art. 1, § 16 (West) (to be codified at Minn. Stat. Ann. § 336.1-301).

·      Uniting and Strengthening America    by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, Pub. L. No. 107-56, 2001 U.S.C.C.A.N. (115 Stat.) 272 (2001).

Cited to Commercial E-Database

10 U.S.C.A. § 10173 (West, Westlaw through P.L. 111-4 (excluding P.L. 111-3)).

Cited to Secondary Source

Social Security Amendments of 1983, Pub. L. No. 98-121, 51 U.S.L.W. 203 (1983).

Table is based on Bluebook Rule 12.

Short Form Statute Citation

For law review, use the below table (reproduced from Bluebook Rule 12.10) to determine short form statute citation. Use the examples under the "Text" column for law review text and footnote text (Rule. 12.10(a)). For law review citations, use the "Short Citation" column.

Also, B5.2 states that these short forms are all acceptable for practioner use.

Short Form Statute Citation

Full Citation

Text

Short Citation

Named Statutes

Administrative Procedures Act § 1, 5 U.S.C. § 551 (2006).

·      section 1 of the Administrative Procedures Act

·      section 1

·      § 1

·      5 U.S.C. § 551

·      Administrative Procedures Act

U.S. Code Provisions

42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2006).

·      42 U.S.C. § 1983

·      § 1983

·      42 U.S.C. § 1983

·      § 1983

State Code Provisions (numbered codes)

Del. Code Ann. tit. 28, § 1701 (1999).

·      title 28, section 1701 of the Delaware Code

·      section 1701

·      tit. 28, § 1701

·      § 1701

State Code Provisions (named provisions)

Cal. Educ. Code § 48222 (West 2008).

·      section 48222      of the California Education Code

·      section 48222

·      Educ. § 48222

Session Laws

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Pub. L. No. 91-190, § 102, 83 Stat. 852, 853-54 (1970).

·      section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act

·      section 102

·      § 102

·      National Environmental Policy Act § 102

·      § 102, 83 Stat. at 853-54

 

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