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AMETH 560 - Federal Indian Law

This guide will assist students conducting legal and legislative research related to federal Native American laws.

Library Research Guide


Books on shelves at Kansas State University Libraries. Link leads to larger view of same image.

Welcome to the Libraries' AMETH 560 Class Guide! This guide is designed to help you learn how to use K-State Libraries' resources for legal research. If this guide does not have the information you are looking for, don't hesitate to Ask A Librarian for help any time during the Libraries' service hours

Go directly to the K-State Libraries home page.

Guides to the Law

These sources explain how the law works. Refer to them for background information, seminal laws or cases, and explanations of processes.

A Bill Becomes a Law

Use these databases and websites to track how a bill became a law in the U.S. Congress. is easy to use and free to anyone.

ProQuest Congressional includes political news and social media, plus additional materials such as:

  • the Federal Register — a daily federal government publication that posts proposed and adopted regulations and changes to regulations;
  • Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports — research conducted by the Library of Congress researchers at the request of a legislator.

A Law is Challenged

Use these databases to find the decisions from state and federal court cases.

Impacts of a Law

Use these databases to find academic journal articles, law review articles, and news articles that discuss the impact of a law.

Definitions of Common Legal & Legislative Terms

Explains commonly used terminology and answers to common questions. For more details go to:


A piece of legislation that is introduced, discussed, and voted on in the House and Senate.


Commonly used to refer to the decision (aka opinion or ruling) made by a judge (or panel of judges) from a court. These are usually published in reporters or legal databases such as HeinOnline or NexisUni (aka LexisNexis.)


  • Congress is the overarching term used to describe the U.S.'s two legislative bodies: the House and the Senate.
  • A Congress is a chronological number assigned to a two-year term. We are currently in the 115th Congress (2017-2018.) Members of the House are re-elected every two years; each election results in a new Congress.
    • The Congress number is often part of the citation for a public law: P. L. 109-162.

Congressional Register

Daily "newspaper" of the United States Congress. Published for every day Congress is in session, the Congressional Register includes whatever happens on the floor of the House or Senate, including bills that are introduced, debated, and voted upon and other statements by legislators.


A piece of legislation that was passed by the House and Senate and at the federal level (usually) signed by the president. The president can veto a bill. The House and Senate can override a veto if two-thirds of each chamber vote to support the legislation. 


The rules government agencies use to enforce the laws.


The volumes where court decisions are published. Reporters cover specific courts and have common abbreviations, as shown below. The abbreviation is used when citing a decision: 529 U.S. 598

United States Supreme Court (court of last resort)

  • United States Reports: U.S.
  • Supreme Court Reporter: S. Ct.
  • Lawyers’ Edition: L. Ed.

Court of Appeals (intermediate appellate courts)

  • Federal Reporter: F., F.2d, F.3d

District Courts (trial level courts)

  • Federal Supplement: F. Supp., F. Supp. 2d