Articles Tagged with Language of the law

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The dance of legislation has more steps and rules (and foot and toe stomping opportunities) than a few words defined, but learning the Language of Congress is a good place to start:

Sessions, Adjournments, and Recesses of Congress, by Richard S. Beth, Specialist on Congress and the Legislative Process, and Jessica Tollestrup, Analyst on Congress and the Legislative Process, February 27, 2013:

“The House and Senate use the terms session, adjournment, and recess in both informal and more formal ways, but the concepts apply in parallel ways to both the daily and the annual activities of Congress. A session begins when the chamber convenes and ends when it adjourns. A recess, by contrast, does not terminate a session, but only suspends it temporarily…. [Link to full CRS Report

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Did you every wonder where the phrase, “make a federal case out of it” came from?  How about “hue and cry?” Or, “piercing the corporate veil?”

You can find these phrases and many more in the new book “Lawtalk: the unknown stories behind familiar legal expressions,” by James E. Clapp, Elizabeth G. Thornburg, Marc Galanter, and Fred R. Shapiro.