How many federal laws are on the books? 500? 1,000? 5,000? Go ahead, take a guess.
Yeah, well, so does the Library of Congress. In an attempt to answer the frequent question of how many federal laws there are, Senior Legal Research Specialist Shameema Rahman recently reported that “trying to tally this number is nearly impossible.” Well, that’s great. Congress has officially passed so many laws that their own repository of documentation can’t even keep track of them all.
As it turns out, the federal government hasn’t been able to keep track of their own laws for quite some time. Rahman reports that, “in an example of a failed attempt to tally up the number of laws on a specific subject area, in 1982 the Justice Department tried to determine the total number of criminal laws. In a project that lasted two years, the Department compiled a list of approximately 3,000 criminal offenses.”Details