United States – Government, Law, Politics, Elections


Biographical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress
The Directory provides biographical, archival, and bibliographical information for current and former senators, as well as representatives, vice presidents, and members of the Continental Congress.
C-Span: Congress
News, schedules, directory, legislation guide, glossary, and more.
Tracks current bills, issues, and legislation. Includes form which allows you to enter your zip code to see a description of local, state, and national officials.
Congress Votes Database
This site lets you browse every vote in the U.S. Congress since 1991.
Congressional Pictorial Directory
Provides a color photograph of each member of the House of Representatives and the Senate. It also includes information about a Member of Congress’ length of service, political party affiliations, and Congressional district. Also contains pictures of the President, Vice President, and House and Senate officers and officials.
CREW: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
A nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials — regardless of party affiliation — who sacrifice the common good to special interests. Also publishes annual report Most Corrupt Members of Congress report.
GovTrack.us is a nexus of information about the United States Congress, bringing together information on the status of federal legislation, voting records, and campaign contributions. The site automatically tracks legislative events and categorizes them into thousands of subjects … so that users can subscribe to follow just the events that interest them.
A History of the United States Congress
Graphical chart showing relative percentages of different parties in Congress since it was begun.
How to Track US Legislation and Congress
The Internet makes it easier than ever to stay in the loop and get involved. Find out what is happening in the Senate and House by following the steps below.
THOMAS (Library of Congress)
Text of legislation, reports, the Congression Record, votes, links to House and Senate websites, historical documents, directories, and more.
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House homepage. Includes schedules, committees, contact information, history, and information about how the House works.
U.S. Senate
U.S. Senate homepage.  Includes schedules, committees, contact information, history, and information about how the Senate works.
U.S. Senate: Virtual Reference Desk
If you are seeking general information on the Senate, the legislative branch and process, or on the federal government, this is a good place to begin. Links are arranged broadly by subject and may take you to PDF documents, useful sources on the Web, or other Senate Web pages.

The Constitution

A 3-minute guide to the Bill of Rights
[A] refresher course on exactly what the first ten amendments grant each and every American citizen.
America’s Founding Documents
Text and information on the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights from the National Archives.
Bill of Rights in Action
Newsletter from the Constitutional Rights Foundation highlighting aspects of the Bill of Rights. (Requires free registration.)
Bill of Rights Institute
The mission of the Bill of Rights Institute is to educate young people about the words and ideas of America’s Founders, the liberties guaranteed in our Founding documents, and how our Founding principles continue to affect and shape a free society. Lots of great resources!
Centuries of Citizenship: A Constitution Timeline
An online experience highlighting some of the key dates and events that mark more than 200 years of our constitutional history. These timeline entries, taken as a whole, tell the evolving story of the U.S. Constitution and the continuing role that it plays in our lives.
Constitution Day
Resources for teachers and students about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Constitution of the United States
This section of the National Archives website contains the complete Constitution and its amendments, plus articles about its creation and meaning.
Constitution of the United States
Text of the Constitution with explanations along the side.
Constitution of the United States: Primary Documents in American History
From the Library of Congress, a site with records of the Constitutional Convention, papers of Washington, Madison, and Jefferson, and outside links, among other resources.
The Federalist Papers
The Anti-Federalist Papers
Chronicle of the debates leading up to the formation of the present U.S. Constitution. Further copies of the Federalist Papers may be found at the Library of Congress.
First Amendment Center
Our mission: providing resources to help the public understand how freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom to petition work, and how these freedoms can be protected.
The Founders’ Constitution
Online edition of a reference work about the Consitution. Includes many exerpts from letters, articles, books, and legal cases about various aspects of the Constitution and what it means.
Interactive Constitution
Lists and discusses the articles and amendments to the Constitution. Also offers fast facts, a blog about Constitutional issues, and downloadable copies of the text of the Constitution.
U.S. Constitution Annotated
This edition is a hypertext interpretation of the CRS [Congressional Research Service] text. It links to Supreme Court opinions, the U.S. Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations, as well as enhancing navigation through linked footnotes and tables of contents.

Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement

Bureau of Justice Statistics
From the U.S. Department of Justice.
Crime and Clues
Articles about forensics, crime scene investigation, evidence, and other aspects of investigation.
Department of Justice
The mission of the DOJ is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation
The mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services… to national and international agencies. Pages include:

INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 187 member countries. Created in 1923, it facilitates cross-border police co-operation, and supports and assists all organizations, authorities and services whose mission is to prevent or combat international crime.
Solitary Nation
A Frontline film and related articles about prisons and prisoners in America.
National Crime Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council’s mission is to be the nation’s leader in helping people keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe from crime. To achieve this, NCPC produces tools that communities can use to learn crime prevention strategies, engage community members, and coordinate with local agencies…
National Criminal Justice Reference Service
A federally funded resource offering justice and substance abuse information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide.
Though aimed at law enforcement professionals, there is plenty at this site to interest anyone.
The Police and Your Rights
Information for citizens from FindLaw.
Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
Data from more than 100 sources about many aspects of criminal justice in the United States.
Comprehensive information about staffing, spending, and enforcement activities of the federal government. Includes sections on the DEA, DHS, FBI, and ATF, among others.


Political Parties

Directory of U.S. Political Parties
Annotated list of U.S. political parties with links to important people and sub-groups.
Individual Party Websites
Democratic Party
Republican National Committee
Constitution Party
Green Party
Libertarian Party
Working Families Party

Candidates and Issues

On The Issues
Our mission is to provide non-partisan information for voters in the Presidential election, so that votes can be based on issues rather than on personalities and popularity.
Promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format.
Project Vote Smart
Information about elected officials and issues both national and local. Includes Project Vote Easy, which lets you see the various candidates’ records on particular issues.


A nonpartisan, nonprofit, ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players…
FlackCheck.org … provides resources designed to help viewers recognize flaws in arguments in general and political ads in particular. Video resources point out deception and incivility in political rhetoric.
Media Matters
A Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.
PolitiFact is a project of the St. Petersburg Times to help you find the truth in politics. Every day, reporters and researchers from the Times examine statements… and then rate the accuracy on our Truth-O-Meter.
TruthDig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
The purpose of our news website is to provide you with insightful and accurate reporting on current subjects and on issues that need to be brought to your attention.

Money and Influence

CREW: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
A nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials — regardless of party affiliation — who sacrifice the common good to special interests.
MapLight is a nonpartisan research organization that reveals money’s influence on politics.
Opensecrets.org: Money in Politics data
Website of a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. Includes a nice Lobbying Database as well as other resources.
Source Watch
A collaborative project of the Center for Media and Democracy to produce a directory of the people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda.

Quizzes – Who Matches Your Positions?

Find out which candidate’s stands you side with more.
The Political Compass
This quiz places your political opinions in a grid from left to right and authoritarian to libertarian, thus showing a more nuanced definition than the usual conservative/liberal divide.
Project VoteSmart: VoteEasy
Select an issue to see how your candidates compare to your views.
The World’s Smallest Political Quiz
This quiz uses just 10 questions to place respondents on a grid of economic and political ideologies.

General Elections

Interactive Electoral College map … and a history of Presidential elections in the United States. Since electoral votes are generally allocated on an ‘all or none’ basis by state, the election of a U.S President is about winning the popular vote in enough states to achieve 270 electoral votes
Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
Award-winning site with information on the U.S. election process, the electoral college, election results from the founding to the present, and maps of results from national to county level.
Electing a U.S. President in Plain English
Short, clear video explanation from the folks at Common Craft.
Election Central
News, debate schedules, information about politics and elections.
Federal Election Commission
The duties of the FEC, which is an independent regulatory agency, are to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to oversee the public funding of Presidential elections.
History.com: Presidential Elections
Presents short overviews of all American presidential elections from George Washington to the present.
How Do Caucuses Work?
Discusses the role of primaries and caususes in the American electoral system.
iCivics.org: Win the White House (game)
In Win the White House, you get to manage your very own presidential campaign by strategically raising funds, polling voters, launching media campaigns, and making personal appearances. Keep a close eye on the map as you battle over electoral votes and popular support.
PBS Election Central
PBS Education offers tools, resources, and creative solutions for learning and teaching about the US presidential election process, fostering democratic values, and encouraging civic engagement.
Polling Report.com
An independent, nonpartisan resource on trends in American public opinion.
Real Clear Politics: Election 2018
Current election news, primaries, polls, more.
USA.gov: Learn About Elections and Voting
From the U.S. government, information about elections, the electoral college, history of elections, election history, and related topics. Includes educational materials for kids.
U.S. Electoral College
Information from the National Archives about the Electoral College. Includes historical results, FAQ, and lesson plans.
Build your ballot with our online voters’ guide! Type in your address to see the races on your ballot. Candidates’ positions can be compared side-by-side, and you may print out a “ballot” indicating your preferences as a reminder and take it with you to the polls on Election Day.


The 3 Branches of Government
Learn more about the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the U.S. government.
60 Second Civics
60-Second Civics is a daily podcast that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation’s government, the Constitution, and our history. From the Center for Civic Education.
About the United States
Have a question about the USA? Learn where to find answers to the most requested facts about the United States of America. From the USA.gov website.
The official benefits website of the U.S. government, with information on over 1,000 benefit and assistance programs.
Aggregation of blogs from various government agencies.
BRB Publications: Free Public Records Resources
BRB’s Free Resource Center is a comprehensive and searchable list of free public record sites along with additional tools to locate sources for civil records, criminal records, driving records, real estate records, public record vendors, record retrievers, legislation and more.
Budget of the United States Government
Current and historical budgets and explanatory documents.
Congressional Budget Office
Independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process. The agency is strictly nonpartisan and conducts objective, impartial analysis, which is evident in each of the dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates that its economists and policy analysts produce each year.
White House Office of Management and Budget
View the budget itself, historical analyses, overviews, appendices, and other related materials.
Citizenship test: Can you pass the test those applying for US citizenship have to pass?
United States Citizenship Test: Would you be able to pass it?
Take a sample test and see how well you can do.
Congressional Research Service
Though all of these reports for Congress from the Library of Congress are not directly available to the public from the LoC, some are available at
Archive-IT and AltGov2.
Cornerstone Documents
Key documents in American history and government, from the Articles of Confederation forward, and links to further sites for documents including the Government Printing Office and various branches of the government.
Tons of information about current government happenings. Includes streaming audio and video, current news, links, and pages on various topics such as American Presidents.
The purpose of Data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.
Department of Justice
Department of the U.S. government which oversees law enforcement-related affairs. Includes the DEA, the FBI, the Office of the Attorney General, and the
U.S. Marshalls, among others.
Facing Freedom
The Facing Freedom website explores conflicts over freedom through four themes; each theme is supported by two stories, which highlight moments when Americans have struggled over the meaning of freedom. Themes covered are: Workers’ Rights, Armed Conflict, Race and Citizenship, and Public Protest.
This website, created by OMB Watch, is a free, searchable database of federal government spending. … With over $12 trillion in federal spending, this more open and accessible tool for citizens to find out where federal money goes and who gets it is long overdue.
Foreign Policy in Focus
A ‘Think Tank Without Walls’ connecting the research and action of more than 600 scholars, advocates, and activists seeking to make the United States a more responsible global partner.
Policies, economics, and technology information and lots of new items pertaining to state and local government in the U.S. With complete searchable archives of Governing magazine.
Government Printing Office
The GPO publishes the Congressional Record, the U.S. Code (laws), the Code of Federal Regulations, Supreme Court decisions, and much more. Find specific documents via the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications and GovInfo.
How a Bill Becomes a Law
From Lexis-Nexis, a flowchart illustrating the process by which a bill becomes a law. Click a box to view information on that step, including tips related to your online research.
iCivics prepares young Americans to become knowledgeable, engaged 21st century citizens… with a variety of free games teaching about the Constitution, the Government, and the rights and duties of citizenship.
The Journalist’s Guide to Open Government
This extensive, multimedia e-learning module helps new media makers understand how to obtain public records and get into public meetings. The guide features a unique, interactive map that tells citizens how they can locate open-government information on each of the 50 state Web sites.
National Archives and Records Administration
All sorts of information and documents about American government and history. There’s also a helpful search tool at Online Public Access.
Regulations.gov is your online source for U.S. government regulations from nearly 300 federal agencies. Inlcudes proposed rules, agency documents, final rules, section of new rules, ability to comment on rules.
U.S. State Department
Information about world countries, human rights, foreign policy, and a special Digital Diplomacy for Students section.
State of the Union Addresses and Messages
Copies of all State of the Union deliveries from George Washington to the present.
Supreme Court
General information about the Court, Docket Information, downloadable files of the Court Schedule, Supreme Court Calendar, Court Rules, Opinions, and links to related sites.
United States Government Manual
Search and read online or download the U.S. Government manual in text or .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format. Includes manuals from 1995-96 on.
U.S. Census Bureau
The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy conducting a major survey every ten years, as mandated by the U.S. Code. The video From Inkwell to Internet: the Census Bureau Story, though not sponsored by the Bureau itself, gives a nice overview of its history.
This site gives access local, state, and U.S. Government Agency websites and information.
USPS: United States Postal Service
Information about shipping, tracking, services, local post offices, Post Office abbreviations, overseas shipping, and more.
The White House
Information about the White House, the President and Vice President, news, articles, links to the other branches of government and more.

Law and Courts

American Bar Association: Public Resources
Information for the general public, for consumers, about the courts, and other topics.
Text of legislation, reports, the Congression Record, votes, links to House and Senate websites, historical documents, directories, and more.
FindLaw: Law, Lawyers, and Legal Resources
This is an excellent source for laws AND access to both the U.S. and foreign governments. Includes a Find Law for the Public section with FAQs, Find Law for States, help finding a lawyer, etc. and legal news.
Fully Informed Jury Association
The FIJA mission is to educate Americans regarding their full powers as jurors, including their ability to rely on personal conscience, to judge the merit of the law and its application, and to nullify bad law, when necessary for justice, by finding for the defendant.
Links to resources on international and comparative law.
GPO – U.S. Government Printing Office
Links to information published by the U.S. government, including the Congressional Record, U.S. Code (laws), Code of Federal Regulations, Supreme Court decisions, and more.
Guide to Law Online
From the Law Library of Congress, an annotated guide to sources of information on government and law available online.
How a Bill Becomes a Law
From Lexis-Nexis, a flowchart illustrating the process by which a bill becomes a law. Click a box to view information on that step, including tips related to your online research.
Law & legal information for lawyers, students, business and the public.
LawGuru.com: Internet Law Library
Originally the US House of Representatives Law Library, this site provides links to a large number of legal resources relating to American (federal and state) and foreign laws.
Legal Information Institute
Cornell Law School’s excellent research site for laws and legal reference.
New York State Law
PLoL: The Public Library of Law
PLoL is the largest free law library in the world, because we assemble law available for free scattered across many different sites — all in one place.
Project LEGAL: Teacher & Student Resources
Links to court cases and decisions and other law-related materials. From Project LEGAL at Syracuse University.
Regulations.gov is your online source for U.S. government regulations from nearly 300 federal agencies. Inlcudes proposed rules, agency documents, final rules, section of new rules, ability to comment on rules.
RJ&L Religious Liberty Archive
An extensive repository of valuable information and a useful resource for anyone seeking information about state and federal laws pertaining to religious freedom in the United States.
Supreme Court
C-SPAN: Landmark Cases
This 12-part series delves into cases that represent some of the tipping points in our nation’s story and in our evolving understanding of rights in America.
Landmark Cases of the U.S. Supreme Court
Information and teaching strategies for important U.S. Supreme Court cases, including case studies, moot court activities, political cartoons, background studies, links to the full text of the decision, and more.
Selected Historic Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court
From the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University, this site contains links to articles on over 600 historic Supreme Court cases.
Supreme Court Historical Society
This site includes information on how the Court works, visiting the Court, technology, and more.
Supreme Court of the United States
General information about the Court, Docket Information, downloadable files of the Court Schedule, Supreme Court Calendar, Court Rules, Opinions, and links to related sites.
U.S. Code
This version of the U.S. Code is generated from the most recent official version made available by the US House of Representatives. The listing on the House server provides exact currency information. (This version, from the Cornell Law Library, is more browsable.)
U.S. Code Search
Keyword search of the U.S. Code of national law.
Victim Law
Your source for crime victim rights and protections.
WashLaw Web
Extensive set of resources from the Washburn University School of Law Library.
World Legal Information Institute
Free, independent and non-profit access to worldwide law.

The Military

Armed Services of the United States
Air Force LinkNational GuardU.S. ArmyU.S. Coast GuardU.S. Marine CorpsU.S. Navy
Air War College Military Index to the Internet
Guide to military and military-related sites on the internet.
How the Army Runs
A Senior Leader Reference Handbook from the U.S. Army War College.
This site offers free resources to serve, connect, and inform the 30 million Americans with military affinity: active duty personnel, retirees, veterans, reservists, guard members, defense workers, family members, and those considering military careers.
Military Casualty Information
From 1980 through the present. Includes breakdowns of killed and wounded by date and type of casualty.
Modern Military Force Structures
Here is a basic look at how modern ground, naval, and air units break down in terms of size and tasks.
Operation: Care and Comfort
Support for military personnel and their families. (Formerly called ‘Operation Support Our Troops’)
U.S. Army Center of Military History
American military history.

Military History
American Military History
An online book posted by the U.S. Army Center Of Military History.
The History Guy: American Military History
his page is designed for students and researchers needing information on the wars and conflicts of American history. To access specific American wars or conflicts, click on the blue links. These wars are listed in chronological order, beginning with the earliest conflicts.
Military History Online.com
Articles and forums about military history.
Military History Wiki.org
From the American Revolution to the War on Terror, MilitaryHistoryWiki.org will bring you a look into the great battles, tragic losses, and important figures in America’s history.

American Legion
The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veterans organization which continue to offer veterans services to this day.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
The nation’s first and largest group dedicated to the Troops and Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the civilian supporters of those Troops and Veterans.
Library of Congress: Veterans’ History Project
The Veterans History Project relies on volunteers to collect and preserve stories of wartime service.
Operation Welcome Home, Maryland
Since March 2007, Operation Welcome Home volunteers have greeted over 250 flights and more than 60,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. We invite you to come on out and help us welcome them home!
US Department of Veterans Affairs
Official site for U.S. Veterans’ Affairs.
Veterans Alliance Service Center
Never again worry about where to find the answers to veteran and military questions. Be it benefits, pay or dealing with the VA it’s all here at Vets.Com’s VASC.
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
Organization for veterans of foreign wars. There is also a VFW Foundation for those who wish to help support the VFW and veterans.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall USA website is dedicated to honoring those who died in the Vietnam War. Since it first went on line in 1996 it has evolved into something more. It is now also a place of healing for those affected by one of the most divisive wars in our nation’s history.

Memorial Day

Veterans Day

National Security

ACLU: National Security
The ACLU has maintained the position that civil liberties must be respected, even in times of national emergency. Discusses legislation and actions which may threaten or violate our civil liberties.
Brookings Institute: Defense and Security
Brookings scholars examine the future of U.S. defense needs and priorities, the challenges of military transformation and new defense strategies.
Council on Foreign Relations: Defense and Security
A nonpartisan resource for information and analysis.
FBI: Terrorism
How the FBI works to protect the nation from terrorists, major terrorist threats, case histories, known terrorists, and further information.
National Security Internet Archive
The National Security Internet Archive focuses on national security, law enforcement, intelligence, espionage, and other related issues.
Rand Corporation: International Security and Defense Policy Center
ISDP explores the implications of political, strategic, economic, and technological challenges for global security and the specific national and regional security interests of its sponsors. With articles on a range of security and defense issues.
Ready.gov: Terrorism
Learn what actions to include in your family disaster plan to prepare for and respond to terrorist threats.
Terrorism: A Guide To Events And Documents
Provides a much-needed realistic perspective on the nation’s leading hot-button issue, focusing on the purposes underlying terrorist acts and the methods and tactics terrorists use to achieve their goals. From Greenwood eBooks. (SCCHS students, see librarian for password.)
United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee
The Committee, comprising all 15 Security Council members, was tasked with monitoring implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), which requested countries to implement a number of measures intended to enhance their legal and institutional ability to counter terrorist activities….
U.S. Department of Defense
Includes information about the Department of Defense and its operations, news, history, links to others sites, and further resources.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
The vision of homeland security is to ensure a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards.
U.S. State Department: Bureau of CounterTerrorism
U.S. State Department: Country Reports on Terrorism
Resources from the U.S. Government dealing with terrorism, counter-terrorism, and terrorism assessments of various countries.


The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.
Center for Public Integrity
Non-profit, non-partisan organization providing investigations and analyses of public service, government accountability, and ethics-related issues.
Tracks current bills, issues, and legislation. Includes form which allows you to enter your zip code to see a description of local, state, and national officials.
Directory of U.S. Political Parties
Annotated list of U.S. political parties with links to important people and sub-groups.
Governing Magazine
Online site of Congressional Quarterly’s “Governing” magazine. Includes information on current news, politics, legislature, governance, and more.
Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life
Pew Research Center: U.S. Politics
APew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions.
Public Agenda Online
Public Agenda is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public opinion research and citizen education organization which supplies information about current social and political issues.
TED : Politics
A collection of TED Talks (and more) on the topic of Politics.
Urban Institute
We analyze policies, evaluate programs, and inform community development to improve social, civic, and economic well-being. We work in all 50 states and abroad in over 28 countries, and we share our research findings with policymakers, program administrators, business, academics, and the public…
U.S. Department of State: Policy Issues
Information from the U.S. State Department about major policy issues of the day.
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