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Introduction to "The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation": Statutes

Quick References

Statute Citation
Basic Citation Forms.................R12.1
Choosing Proper Form..............R12.2
Official & Unofficial Codes.........R12.3
Session Laws..........................R12.4
Electronic/Online Sources..........R12.5
Other Secondary Sources..........R12.6
Invalidation, Repeal,
Amendment, Prior History.........R12.7
Explanatory Parentheticals........R12.8
Special Citation Forms..............R12.9
Short Forms for Statutes.........R12.10
United States Jurisdictions.............T1
Institutional Authors.....................T6
Subdivision Abbreviations............T16

Typeface Conventions

Code Abbreviation - typically in small caps typeface. Refer to T1 for jurisdictional conventions.

Explanatory Phrases - regular typeface in parenthetical

 

Notice


This guide is currently being updated to reflect the recent changes made in The Bluebook (20th edition). Please be aware that pages containing this notice may contain out-of-date information.

Basic Structure of a Statute Citation

 

The basic structure of a statute citation has three main elements:

  1. Official name of the act (if citing an entire statute)
  2. Where the statute can be found
  3. Date of the code edition (and publisher if citing an unofficial code)

Generally - Whenever possible, cite to the current official code. Otherwise, cite a current unofficial code or supplement. Abbreviations for code titles can be found in Table 1.

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

12 U.S.C.A. § 1426 (West 2010).

Consumer Credit Code, OKLA. STAT. TIT. 14A, § 6-203 (1996).

Special Citation Forms - Restatements, model codes, and several other authorities are covered by Rule 12.9. Abbreviate according to Table 6.

RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONTRACTS ch. 16, topic 3, intro. note (1981).

MODEL BUS. CORP. ACT § 57 (1979).

Short Form for Statutes - Rule 12.10 provides a chart listing short forms for different types of code provisions. In law review footnotes, short form may only be used for a statute cited within the same footnote or if it has been cited within the five previous footnotes. Otherwise a full citation is required. See Rule 4.1 for guidance on the use of "id." within citations.

Statute Abbreviations

Only abbreviate words in Table 1 (Jurisdictional conventions), Table 16 (subdivisions), and Table 6 (Institutional Authors) when citation is used in a footnote. If a code provision is referred to in a textual sentence, the citation must be written out fully, or the provision referred to by name according to Rule 12.10.

Tips

Except when referring to a United States Code provision, the word "section" should be spelled out in textual sentences, but the "§" symbol is appropriate for footnote citations.


Do not use "at" if citing a different section of the statute. Instead, use "Id." and the new section or subsection.