APA Citations: Government & Legal References


Court Decisions


Reference Format:

Name v. Name, Volume Source Page (Court Date).


Example Reference Entry:


Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).


Example In-Text Citation:


In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in schools unconstitutional.


Note: Italicize the case name when it appears in the text of your paper.




A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or country. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations issued by government agencies. Statutes are sometimes referred to as legislation or "black letter law."


Reference Format:

Name of Act, Volume Source § section number (year).


Example Reference Entry for a Federal Statute:

Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 (2004).


Note: The § symbol stands for "section." To find this symbol in MS Word, go to "Insert" and click on Symbol." Look in the "Latin 1-Supplement" subset.


Note: U.S.C. stands for "United States Code.


Example Reference Entry for a State Statute:

Minnesota Nurse Practice Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 148-171-285 (2010).


Note: Use the § symbol twice to indicate a range of sections.


Note: List the chapter first followed by the section or range of sections.


Example In-Text Citation:


Minnesota nurses must maintain current registration in order to practice (Minnesota Nurse Practice Act, 2010).


Statutes (cont’d)


In-Text Citation:


Basic Form:

Name of Act (Year)


Name of Act of Year



The National Environmental Policy Act (1969) established the Council on Environmental




The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 established the Council on Environmental Quality.


Unenacted Bills and Resolutions


(Those that did not pass and become law)

Reference Format:


Title [if there is one], bill or resolution number, xxx Cong. (year).


Example Reference Entry for Senate Bill:

Anti-Phishing Act, S. 472, 109th Cong. (2005).


Example Reference Entry for House of Representatives Resolution:

Anti-Phishing Act, H.R. 1099, 109th Cong. (2005)


Example In-Text Citation:


The Anti-Phishing Act (2005) proposed up to 5 years prison time for people running Internet scams.


State & U.S. Constitutions

Reference Format:


Basic form:


Abbreviated name of Constitution pt. Part number (if any), art. Article number in Roman numerals. § Section number.


Abbreviated name of Constitution pt. Part number (if any), amend.

Amendment number in Roman numerals, § Section number.



Mass. Const. pt. 1, art. XV.


U.S. Const., amend. XIV, § 1.


State & U.S. Constitutions (cont’d)


In-Text Citation:


Basic Form:

Identical to reference list entry, using parentheses as needed.



Freedom of assembly is guaranteed by Mass. Const. pt. 1, art. XV.


Equal protection of the law is a constitutional right (U.S. Const. art. XIV, § 1).


Part of Organization Website


No Author

Example Reference Entry:


Sierra Club. (2010, May 12). Kerry, Lieberman unveil energy and climate draft. Retrieved

from http://action.sierraclub.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=177341.0


Example In-Text Citation:

(Sierra Club, 2010)



Example Reference Entry:

Pope, C. (2010, May 17). What do Americans really believe? [Web log post]. Retrieved


from http://sierraclub.typepad.com/carlpope/2010/05/what-do-americans-



Example In-Text Citation:

(Pope, 2010)


Government Agency

Example Reference Entry:


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. (2000, August). An environmental management system review of the National Park Service: Based on the code of environmental management principles. (EPA-3000-R-00-006). Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/ compliance/resources/publications/incentives/ems/emsnps.pdf


Example In-Text Citation:

(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000)


For More Information


 http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/886.htm  http://legacy.lib.westfield.ma.edu/legalapa.htm


 http://www.unk.edu/uploadedFiles/academics/library/gov_doc/about/Citing%20Government%20Documents%20- %20APA%20Style%202010.pdf  http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2013/02/writing-references-for-federal-statutes.html  http://cooklibrary.towson.edu/helpguides/guides/APA_govLegal.pdf