Civil Liberties

America's Insane Criminal Code Now Available in XML Format!


Heritage Foundation

The U.S. Congress has created an average of one new crime a week for the last several decades, bringing the grand total of federal offenses to roughly 4,500. Thanks to the efforts of congressional Republicans, you can download America's insanely long list of no-nos in XML markup language

"Providing free and open access to the U.S. Code in XML is another win for open government," said Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor. "And we want to thank the Office of Law Revision Counsel for all of their work to make this project a reality. Whether it's our 'read the bill' reforms, streaming debates and committee hearings live online, or providing unprecedented access to legislative data, we're keeping our pledge to make Congress more transparent and accountable to the people we serve."

In 2011, Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor called for the adoption of new electronic data standards to make legislative information more open and accessible. With those standards in place, the House created the Legislative Branch Bulk Data Task Force in 2012 to expedite the process of providing bulk access to legislative information and to increase transparency for the American people.

Since then, the Government Printing Office (GPO) has begun providing bulk access to House legislation in XML. The Office of the Clerk makes full sessions of House floor summaries available in bulk as well.

The XML version of the U.S. Code will be updated quickly, on an ongoing basis, as new laws are enacted. 

Or, as new crimes are created! It is our sincere hope that someone does something meaningful with this data.