Congressional Research Service Reports for Legal Research

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress provides research reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics.

As stated on their website:

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for more than a century.

CRS is well-known for analysis that is authoritative, confidential, objective and nonpartisan. Its highest priority is to ensure that Congress has 24/7 access to the nation’s best thinking.”

CRS reports are excellent sources for anyone conducting legal research. They are extremely well-research and many are updated regularly. There is no direct access to the reports for the public, however.

Nonetheless, a large number of them are freely available on the Internet but not all in the same places and not always easy to locate.

Here is a list of some free internet sources:

CRSReports.com is a free web-based repository of Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports.

There is a search engine but no browsing. You can, however, search by date.

Stanford University has a repository of CRS reports here. The archive goes back to 2008, and allows you to browse by subject or do a word search.

The University of North Texas Digital Library CRS Collection allows for browsing by subject or word searching.

The University of Maryland Thurgood Marshall Law Library CRS Collection specializes in reports in Homeland Security/Terrorism and Health Law & Policy.

The Homeland Security Digital Library posts a number of CRS reports, available both as abstracts or complete PDFs and keeps very current.

The U.S. Department of State has a repository of CRS Reports, here.

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) hosts a site for CRS Reports, here. It is browsable by topic or searchable.

Full Text Reports describes its database as “A top-tier research professional’s hand-picked selection of documents from academe, corporations, government agencies (including the Congressional Research Service), interest groups, NGOs, professional societies, research institutes, think tanks, trade associations, and more. Obviously, then, it has research reports from other places besides the CRS, and you can see them listed in a sidebar. (It has not updated its reports since mid-2015 but is still a valuable resource.)

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This is just a partial list. Be aware that you may have to check multiple sites for the subject or report you are seeking.

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