The body of law dealing with the relations between private individuals and the government, and with the structure and operation of the government itself; constitutional law, criminal law, and administrative law taken together.... Federal public laws are first published in Statutes at Large and are eventually collected by subject in the U.S. Code. ( Black's Law Dictionary. 7th edition. Bryan A. Garner, editor-in-chief. St. Paul, Minn.: West Group; 1999.) Back
A bill or joint resolution passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in identical form that has been enacted into law. Public laws affect the entire nation. A Public law is designated by the abbreviation "Pub. L." followed by the Congress number (e.g. 108), and the number of the law. For example: Pub. L. 108-211.
A bill or joint resolution (other than for amendments to the Constitution) passed by both Houses of Congress and approved by the President. Bills and joint resolutions vetoed by the President, but overridden by the Congress also become public law.