TOPN: Table of Popular Names

What's in a popular name?

Laws acquire popular names as they make their way through Congress. Sometimes these names say something about the substance of the law (as with the '2002 Winter Olympic Commemorative Coin Act'). Sometimes they are a way of recognizing or honoring the sponsor or creator of a particular law (as with the 'Taft-Hartley Act'). And sometimes they are meant to garner political support for a law by giving it a catchy name (as with the 'USA Patriot Act' or the 'Take Pride in America Act') or by invoking public outrage or sympathy (as with any number of laws named for victims of crimes). History books, newspapers, and other sources use the popular name to refer to these laws. Why can't these popular names easily be found in the US Code?

How the US Code is built.

The United States Code is meant to be an organized, logical compilation of the laws passed by Congress. At its top level, it divides the world of legislation into fifty topically-organized Titles, and each Title is further subdivided into any number of logical subtopics. In theory, any law -- or individual provisions within any law -- passed by Congress should be classifiable into one or more slots in the framework of the Code. On the other hand, legislation often contains bundles of topically unrelated provisions that collectively respond to a particular public need or problem. A farm bill, for instance, might contain provisions that affect the tax status of farmers, their management of land or treatment of the environment, a system of price limits or supports, and so on. Each of these individual provisions would, logically, belong in a different place in the Code. (Of course, this isn't always the case; some legislation deals with a fairly narrow range of related concerns.) The process of incorporating a newly-passed piece of legislation into the Code is known as "classification" -- essentially a process of deciding where in the logical organization of the Code the various parts of the particular law belong. Sometimes classification is easy; the law could be written with the Code in mind, and might specifically amend, extend, or repeal particular chunks of the existing Code, making it no great challenge to figure out how to classify its various parts. And as we said before, a particular law might be narrow in focus, making it both simple and sensible to move it wholesale into a particular slot in the Code. But this is not normally the case, and often different provisions of the law will logically belong in different, scattered locations in the Code. As a result, often the law will not be found in one place neatly identified by its popular name. Nor will a full-text search of the Code necessarily reveal where all the pieces have been scattered. Instead, those who classify laws into the Code typically leave a note explaining how a particular law has been classified into the Code. It is usually found in the Note section attached to a relevant section of the Code, usually under a paragraph identified as the "Short Title".

How the LII Table of Popular Names works.

Our Table of Popular Names is organized alphabetically by popular name. You'll find three types of link associated with each popular name (though each law may not have all three types). One, a reference to a Public Law number, is a link to the bill as it was originally passed by Congress, and will take you to the LRC THOMAS legislative system, or GPO FDSYS site. So-called "Short Title" links, and links to particular sections of the Code, will lead you to a textual roadmap (the section notes) describing how the particular law was incorporated into the Code. Finally, acts may be referred to by a different name, or may have been renamed, the links will take you to the appropriate listing in the table.

1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act

1950 Amendment to Public Law 38

1951 Amendments to the Universal Military Training and Service Act

1955 Amendments to the Universal Military Training and Service Act

1959 Amendment to the Texas City Disaster Relief Act

1964 Amendments to the Alaska Omnibus Act

1979 White House Conference on the Arts Act

1979 White House Conference on the Humanities Act

1984 Act to Combat International Terrorism

1988 Olympic Commemorative Coin Act

1992 National Assessment of Chapter 1 Act

1992 Olympic Commemorative Coin Act

1992 White House Commemorative Coin Act

1993 White House Conference on Children, Youth, and Families

1997 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from Natural Disasters, and for Overseas Peacekeeping Efforts, Including Those in Bosnia

1998 Supplemental Appropriations and Rescissions Act

1999 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act

2001 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States

2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response To Terrorist Attacks on the United States

2002 Winter Olympic Commemorative Coin Act

2004 District of Columbia Omnibus Authorization Act

2005 District of Columbia Omnibus Authorization Act

21st Century Assistive Technology Act

21st Century Community Learning Centers Act

21st Century Cures Act

21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act

21st Century Emergency Communications Act of 2006

21st Century IDEA

21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act

21st Century Language Act of 2012

21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act

21st Century Peace through Strength Act

21st Century President Act

21st Century Respect Act

225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemoration Act

250th Anniversary of the United States Marine Corps Commemorative Coin Act

3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act

400 Years of African-American History Commission Act

5-Star Generals Commemorative Coin Act

50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act


5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement Act

7(a) Real Estate Appraisal Harmonization Act

75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Act

9/11 Commission Implementation Act of 2004

9/11 Commission International Implementation Act of 2007

9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor Act of 2017

9/11 Heroes Stamp Act of 2001

9/11 Memorial Act

911 Modernization Act