Office of Law Revision Counsel
The Office of Law Revision Counsel compiles, revises, and publishes the United States Code, which arranges all general and permanent U.S. laws by subject matter. Although the office was created as part of sweeping reforms in the House during the 1970s, its core functions date to 1795 with the House Committee on Revisal and Unfinished Business. In 1868 the House changed its name to the Committee on Revision of Laws, and it remained a standing committee until Congress transferred its jurisdiction to a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee as part of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946.
Prior to the 1946 reorganization act, some proponents, including the chairman of the Committee on Revision of Laws, Eugene Keogh of New York, had argued that the House needed to create a separate staff office to handle law revision duties since the work required considerable specialization. Several decades later, during another round of reforms in the 1970s, the House adopted Keogh’s proposal. The independent Office of the Law Revision Counsel was created as a provision of the Committee Reform Amendments of 1974 (H. Res. 988, Public Law 93–554). Under this statute, the Speaker of the House appoints the Law Revision Counsel.
Today, the office works closely with the House Judiciary Committee. It continually evaluates the Code, maintaining its organizational structure, placing new law into logical classifications, and reorganizing categories that have expanded beyond their original scope. The office reviews each title of the Code, inserting amendments when necessary, before submitting the revised compilation of the law to the Judiciary Committee for review. The Law Revision Counsel may also recommend to the committee clarifications of the law or the repeal of obsolete provisions. For more information, see http://uscode.house.gov/ or follow them on Twitter @uscode.
|Law Revision Counsels||Term of Service|
|Edward F. Willett Jr.||1975–1997|
|John R. Miller||1997–2005|
|Peter G. LeFevre||2005–2011|
|Ralph V. Seep||2011-present|
Sources: Congressional Record, House, 5 August 1941; “Support Offices in the House of Representatives: Roles and Authorities,” Congressional Research Service; Office of Law Revision Counsel, “United States Code,” http://uscode.house.gov/ (accessed 27 June 2019).