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LRAW Research Spring 2023

Statute / Regulation Connection

There are two common ways in which the relationship between statutes and regulations affects legal analysis:

  1. Statutes provide important context for related regulations. Typically, statutes provide general goals and guidelines, and the related regulations specify the practical details. It's important to read related statutes and regulations together in order to find all the relevant rules.
  2. If an agency makes a regulation that is outside the bounds of its rulemaking authority, a court can find that the regulation does not have the force of law.

If you have found a regulation, there is definitely at least one related statute you will also need to be aware of: the statute that gave the agency the authority to make that regulation.

If you have found a statute, there may or may not be a related regulation. It depends on whether the legislature has authorized an agency to make regulations on that topic or not.

The examples below will help you move from regulations to related statutes, and from statutes to related regulations.

From Regulations to Statutes

When you are trying to go from a regulation to the related statute, you are looking for the regulation's statutory authority.

"Statutory authority refers to the powers and duties assigned to a government...agency through a law passed by...a state legislature. It is also known as a statutory grant of authority...to issue legally binding rules." -Ballotpedia

Westlaw: Statutory Authority

In the SC Code of Regulations on Westlaw, the links to statutory authority appear chapter by chapter, for whole chapters of regulations; not section by section. 

When looking at S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 44-80 on Westlaw, there is no statutory authority specifically for R. 44-80 listed under Context & Analysis. ​

Context & Analysis (0)

 

To find the statutory authority for the regulation, go to the Table of Contents, then scroll up from R. 44-80 to the beginning of Chapter 44.

Click on the link to "Refs & Annos" that appears between the name of the chapter and the first section in the chapter.

(By the way, ADC stands for Administrative Code; it's Westlaw's way of referring to a Code of Regulations.)

screenshot - Westlaw Table of Contents - Refs & Annos

 

After clicking on SC ADC Ch. 44, Refs & Annos, you will be able to click on Context & Analysis and see a link labeled Authority that takes you to the statute in the Code of Laws that provides rulemaking authority for all the regulations in Chapter 44, including R. 44-80.

screenshot - Ch. 44, Refs & Annos - Context & Analysis (2) - Authority (2) - (Statutory Authority: 1976 Code, § 59-150-70)


Lexis: Statutory Authority

The SC Code of Regulations on Lexis is called "South Carolina Code of Laws, Regulations," but it only contains regulations. The statutory authority for each regulation is provided section-by-section on Lexis.

If you are looking at a specific section of the regulations on Lexis, such as R. 44-80, you can select "Statutory Authority" from the "Go To" drop-down menu at the top of the page to be taken to the statutory authority entry below the text of the regulation.

Statutory Authority


(Statutory Authority: 1976 Code, § 59-150-70)

 

South Carolina Legislature: Statutory Authority

When you open the Word or PDF version of a chapter in the SC Code of Regulations on scstatehouse.gov, the statutory authority is given just after the chapter name and before the first section of regulations.

CHAPTER 44
South Carolina Lottery Commission
(Statutory Authority: 1976 Code, § 59–150–70)
44–10. Definitions.
...

From Statutes to Regulations

SC Legislature Website: From Statutes to Regulations

Scenario: You are doing research in statutes on the South Carolina Education Lottery. You've found a relevant statute: S.C. Code Ann. § 59-150-20. Now you are wondering if there are any regulations that relate specifically to that statute.

 

You can try keyword searching the Code of Regulations for 59-150. If this sequence of Title and Chapter from the Code of Laws appears as part of the statutory authority for any regulation, this search should find that regulation. Be cautious and check for context because a sequence of numbers could appear in other contexts as well.

If there are no results, or too many results to sift through, it may help to go back to S.C. Code Ann. § 59-150-20 in the Code of Laws and see if any related statutes grant rulemaking power to an agency. There are so many possible synonyms for agency rulemaking power (a board's/bureau's/commission's/department's/office's duty/power/authority to make/issue/promulgate/publish/submit rules/regulations), that it can be difficult to compose an effective keyword search.

You can use the Table of Contents in the Code of Laws to "zoom out" from § 59-150-20 to look at the surrounding sections that are all part of one statutory scheme. Once you find the section of the Code of Laws that acts as statutory authority for an agency to make regulations relating to § 59-150-20, you can keyword search the Code of Regulations more effectively. Or, if there are still no results in the Code of Regulations, you will know which agency's website to look at for more information.

Westlaw: From Statutes to Regulations

One purpose of the annotations in the South Carolina Code of Laws Annotated is to indicate whether a statute has any related regulations. On Westlaw, related regulations will most often be linked under the Citing References tab, which uses the KeyCite computer algorithm to find as complete a list of references as possible.

If you wonder whether there are any regulations that relate to § 59-150-20 in the Code of Laws, you can check the Citing References tab and get a link to a regulation. 

screenshot of 59-159-20 on Westlaw, with Citing Reference tab showing a link to Regulations (1).

Note that if you had looked at the sections immediately before or after this one (§ 59-150-10 or § 59-150-30) in the Code of Laws, which also relate to the lottery, the Citing References tabs for those sections do not contain any references to regulations.

You might need to look section by section through related statutes (using the Table of Contents, or Previous and Next buttons) in order to find which section of the Code of Laws has a Citing Reference to a related regulation.