FRE Legislative History Overview Resource Page

FRE Legislative History Overview Resource Page


Capitol Dome The Legislative History Overview Resource Page provides a table summary of the legislative history for the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE), from 1973 (when the uniform rules were first submitted to the Congress) to the present. Additional information for each amendment may be found on the listed Legislative History Pages, where available (and which will be added and updated over time) (see right column for links).

Procedure For Enacting New Amendments And Rules

Under the Rules Enabling Act, the Supreme Court normally prescribes Federal Rules of Evidence. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 2072 and 2075 (as enacted by Pub. Law No. 100–702, 102 Stat. 4648 (Nov. 19, 1988) (effective Dec. 1, 1988)). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2074, the Supreme Court transmits to Congress (not later than May 1 of the year in which a rule prescribed under section 2072 is to become effective) a copy of the proposed rule. The rule takes effect no earlier than December 1 of the year in which the rule is transmitted unless otherwise provided by law. As noted in the table, there have been exceptions to the adoption of new rules under the Rules Enabling Act. Occasionally, Congress has enacted legislation amending the rules rather than accepting recommendations from the Judicial Conference and Supreme Court. Congress has also reserved the right to enact any changes to the rules involving privileges.



FRE Legislative History Summary Table

DateAmendment/ProposalStatute/Amendment/Notes
Feb. 5, 1973Proposing uniform Federal Rules of Evidence Submitted by the Supreme Court, based on review and drafting of judicial committees and recommendation of the U.S. Judicial Conference. See 409 U.S. 1132 (1973); 119 Cong. Rec. 3247 (Feb. 5, 1973) (Exec. Comm. 359); H. Doc. 93-46; see also 18 U.S.C. §§ 3402, 3771, and 3772; 28 U.S.C. §§ 2072 and 2075 (based on prior statutory authority to promulgate rules, which was subsequently modified); 1975 Legislative History Original Enactment Page.

Note: Congress enacted a statute to provide more time for congressional review of the proposed Federal Rules of Evidence submitted by the Supreme Court. See Act of Mar. 30, 1973, Pub. Law No. 93–12, 87 Stat. 9 (1973) (stating that the proposed rules “shall have no force or effect except to the extent, and with such amendments, as they may be expressly approved by Act of Congress”)
Jan. 2, 1975Enacting the Federal Rules of Evidence proposed by the Supreme Court, with amendments made by CongressAct of Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. Law No. 93–595, 88 Stat. 1926 (1975); see also 1975 1975 Legislative History Original Enactment Page.

Effective date: July 1, 1975. See Pub. L. No. 93-595, § 1 (“That the following rules shall take effect on the one hundred and eightieth day beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.”), 88 Stat. 1926.
Oct. 16, 1975Adding clause (C) to Rule 801(d)(1) (Prior Identification)Pub. Law No. 94–113, 89 Stat. 576 (Oct. 16, 1975); see also 1975 Legislative History Page (FRE 801(d)(1)(C)).

Effective date: October 31, 1975
Dec. 12, 1975Technical amendments affecting the Table of Contents and:

  • Rule 410 (Inadmissibility of Pleas, Plea Discussions, and Related Statements)
  • Rule 606(b) (Inquiry into Validity of Verdict or Indictment)
  • Rule 803(23) (Judgment As To Personal, Family or General History, or Boundaries)
  • Rule 804(b)(3) (Statement Against Interest)
  • Rule 1101(e) (Rules Applicable In Part)
Pub. Law No. 94–149, 89 Stat. 805 (Dec. 12, 1975); see also 1975 Legislative History Page (Technical Amendments).

Effective date: The amendments apply to trials that begin more than thirty days after October 28, 1978.
Oct. 28, 1978Adding Rule 412 (Sex Offense Cases; Relevance of Alleged Victim's Past Sexual Behavior or Alleged Sexual Predisposition) and inserting item 412 in the Table of Contents Pub. Law No. 95–540, 92 Stat. 2046 (Oct. 28, 1978); see also 1978 Legislative History Page.

Effective date: Oct. 1, 1979. See Pub. Law No. 95–598, § 402(c), 92 Stat. 2673
Nov. 6, 1978

(Note: Amendment Was Later Abrogated by Pub. L. No. 98-353, § 113, 98 Stat. 333)
Amending Rule 1101(a) and (b) by striking out “, referees in bankruptcy,” and substituting ‘‘title 11, United States Code’’ for ‘‘the Bankruptcy Act’’ Bankruptcy Act of 1978, Pub. Law No. 95–598, § 251, 92 Stat. 2673 (Nov. 6, 1978).

Effective date: April 1, 1984. See Bankruptcy Act of 1978, Pub. Law No. 95–598, § 402(b), 92 Stat. 2673; but see Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984, Pub. L. No. 98-353, § 113, 98 Stat. 333 (providing that Pub. Law No. 95–598, § 402(b) “shall not be effective”)

See also Pub. Law No. 98–249, § 1(a) (changing date from April 1, 1984 to May 1, 1984), 98 Stat. 116; Pub. Law No. 98–271, § 1(a) (changing date from May 1, 1984 to May 26, 1984), 98 Stat. 163; Pub. Law No. 98–299, § 1(a) (changing date from May 26, 1984 to June 21, 1984), 98 Stat. 214; Pub. Law No. 98–325, § 1(a) (changing date from June 21, 1984 to June 28, 1984), 98 Stat. 268, and Pub. Law No. 98–353, § 121(a) (changing date from June 28, 1984 to “the date of enactment of the Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984”), 98 Stat. 333, 345.
Dec. 1, 1980 Amending Rule 410 (Inadmissibility of Pleas, Plea Discussions, and Related Statements) Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated April 30, 1979, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 441 U.S. 970, 1007; 125 Cong. Rec. 9366 (May 1, 1979) (Exec. Comm. 1456); H. Doc. 96–112; see also 1980 Legislative History Page [Pending].

Note: The Rule 410 amendment was originally set to become effective August 1, 1979. However, Pub. Law No. 96–42, 93 Stat. 326 (July 31, 1979) delayed the effective date of the amendment to Rule 410 until December 1, 1980, or until and to the extent approved by Act of Congress, whichever is earlier. In the absence of further action by Congress, the amendment to Rule 410 became law.

Effective date: Dec. 1, 1980
Oct. 1, 1982Amending Rule 1101(a) (Applicability of Rules: Courts and Judges) Pub. Law No. 97–164, §§ 142, 402, 96 Stat. 45, 57 (Apr. 2, 1982); see also 1982 Legislative History Page [Pending].

Effective date: Oct. 1, 1982
Oct. 12, 1984 Amending Rule 704 (Opinion On Ultimate Issue) Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984, Pub. Law No. 98–473, § 406, 98 Stat. 2067 (Oct. 12, 1984); see also 1984 Legislative History Page [Pending].
Oct. 1, 1987 Amending:

  • Rule 101 (Scope)
  • Rule 104(c) (Preliminary Questions: Hearing of jury)
  • Rule 104(d) (Preliminary Questions: Testimony by accused)
  • Rule 106 (Remainder of or Related Writings or Recorded Statements)
  • Rule 404(a)(1) (Character of accused)
  • Rule 404(b) (Other crimes, wrongs, or acts)
  • Rule 405(b) (Methods of Proving Character: Specific instances of conduct)
  • Rule 411 (Liability Insurance)
  • Rule 602 (Lack of Personal Knowledge)
  • Rule 603 (Oath or Affirmation)
  • Rule 604 (Interpreters)
  • Rule 606 (Competency of Juror as Witness)
  • Rule 607 (Who May Impeach)
  • Rule 608(b) (Specific Instances of Conduct)
  • Rule 609(a) (Impeachment by Evidence of Conviction of Crime)
  • Rule 610 (Religious Beliefs or Opinions)
  • Rule 611(c) (Leading questions)
  • Rule 612 (Writing Used to Refresh Memory)
  • Rule 613 (Prior Statements of Witnesses)
  • Rule 615 (Exclusion Of Witnesses)
  • Rule 701 (Opinion Testimony by Lay Witnesses)
  • Rule 703 (Bases of Opinion Testimony by Experts)
  • Rule 705 (Disclosure of Facts or Data Underlying Expert Opinion)
  • Rule 706(a) (Court Appointed Experts)
  • Rule 801(a) (Definitions: Statement)
  • Rule 801(d) (Statements which are not hearsay)
  • Rule 803(5) (Recorded recollection)
  • Rule 803(18) (Learned treatises)
  • Rule 803(19) (Reputation concerning personal or family history)
  • Rule 803(21) (Reputation as to character)
  • Rule 803(24) (Residual Exception)
  • Rule 804(a) (Definition of unavailability)
  • Rule 804(b)(2) (Statement under belief of impending death)
  • Rule 804(b)(3) (Statement against interest)
  • Rule 804(b)(5) (Residual Exception)
  • Rule 806 (Attacking and Supporting Credibility of Declarant)
  • Rule 902(2) (Self-Authentication: Domestic public documents not under seal)
  • Rule 902(3) (Self-Authentication: Foreign public documents)
  • Rule 1004(3) (Admissibility of Other Evidence of Contents: Collateral matters)
  • Rule 1007 (Testimony or Written Admission of Party)
  • Rule 1101(a) (Applicability of Rules: Courts and judges)
Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated March 2, 1987, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 480 U.S. 1023; 133 Cong. Rec. 4484 (1987) (Exec. Comm. 713); H. Doc. 100–41; see also 1987 Legislative History Page [Pending].

Effective date: Oct. 1, 1987
Nov. 1, 1988 Amending:

  • Rule 101 (Scope)
  • Rule 602 (Lack of Personal Knowledge)
  • Rule 608(b) (Specific Instances of Conduct)
  • Rule 613(b) (Extrinsic evidence of prior inconsistent statement of witness)
  • Rule 615 (Exclusion Of Witnesses)
  • Rule 902(3) (Self-Authentication: Foreign public documents)
  • Rule 1101(a) (Applicability of Rules: Courts and judges)
  • Rule 1101(e) (Applicability of Rules: Rules applicable in part)
Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated April 25, 1988, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 485 U.S. 1049; 134 Cong. Rec. 9154 (Apr. 27, 1988) (Exec. Comm. 3517); H. Doc. 100–187; see also 1988 Legislative History Page [Pending].

Effective date: Nov. 1, 1988
Nov. 1, 1988 Amending:

  • Rule 412 (Sex Offense Cases; Relevance of Alleged Victim's Past Sexual Behavior or Alleged Sexual Predisposition)
  • Rule 615 (Exclusion Of Witnesses)
  • Rule 804(a)(5) (witness unavailability based inability to procure the declarant’s attendance)
  • Rule 1101(a) (Applicability of Rules: Courts and judges)
  • Tables of Contents
Pub. Law No. 100–690, §§ 7046, 7075, 102 Stat. 4400, 4405 (Nov. 18, 1988)

Note: Pub. Law No. 100–690, § 7075(a), 102 Stat. 4400, 4405 (Nov. 18, 1988), which directed the amendment of Rule 615 by inserting “a” before “party which is not a natural person.”, could not be executed because “party which is not a natural person.” did not appear. However, the word “a” was inserted by the intervening amendment adopted by the Court by order dated April 25, 1988, effective November 1, 1988.

Note: Pub. Law No. 100–690, § 7075(c)(1), 102 Stat. 4400, 4405 (Nov. 18, 1988), which directed the amendment of Rule 1101(a) by striking “Rules” and inserting “rules”, could not be executed because of the intervening amendment adopted by the Court by order dated April 25, 1988, effective November 1, 1988.
Dec. 1, 1990Amending Rule 609(a) (Impeachment by Evidence of Conviction of Crime: General Rule) Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated January 26, 1990, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 493 U.S. 1175; 136 Cong. Rec. 662 (Jan. 29, 1990) (Exec. Comm. 2370); H. Doc. 101–142; see also 1990 Legislative History Page [Pending].

Effective date: Dec. 1, 1990
Dec. 1, 1991 Amending:


  • Rule 404(b) (Other crimes, wrongs, or acts)
  • Rule 1102 (Amendments)
Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated April 30, 1991, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 500 U.S. 1001; 137 Cong. Rec. 9721 (May 1, 1991) (Ex. Comm. 1189); H. Doc. 102–76; see also 1991 Legislative History Page [Pending].

Effective date: Dec. 1, 1991
Dec. 1, 1993 Amending:

  • Rule 101 (Scope)
  • Rule 705 (Disclosure of Facts or Data Underlying Expert Opinion)
  • Rule 1101(a) (Applicability of Rules: Courts and judges)
  • Rule 1101(e) (Applicability of Rules: Rules applicable in part)
Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated April 22, 1993, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 507 U.S. 1187 (Apr. 22, 1993); 139 Cong. Rec. 8127 (Apr. 22, 1993) (Ex. Comm. 1104); H. Doc. 103–76; see also 1993 Legislative History Page [Pending].

Effective date: Dec. 1, 1993
Dec. 1, 1994 Amending Rule 412 (Sex Offense Cases; Relevance of Alleged Victim's Past Sexual Behavior or Alleged Sexual Predisposition) Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated April 29, 1994, and transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 511 U.S. 1187 (Apr. 29, 1994); 140 Cong. Rec. 8903 (1994) (Ex. Comm. 3085); H. Doc. 103–250; see also 1994 Legislative History Page [Pending].

Effective date: Dec. 1, 1994

Pub. Law No. 103–322, § 40141(a), 108 Stat. 1918 (Sept. 13, 1994) (providing the amendment to Rule 412 would take effect on December 1, 1994, but with the general amendment of Rule 412 made by Pub. Law No. 103–322, § 40141(b), 108 Stat. 1918 (Sept. 13, 1994)
Sept. 13, 1994 Adding:


  • Rule 413 (Evidence of Similar Crimes in Sexual Assault Cases)
  • Rule 414 (Evidence of Similar Crimes in Child Molestation Cases)
  • Rule 415 (Evidence of Similar Acts in Civil Cases Concerning Sexual Assault or Child Molestation)
Amending:

  • Rule 412 (Sex Offense Cases; Relevance of Alleged Victim's Past Sexual Behavior or Alleged Sexual Predisposition)
Pub. Law No. 103–322, §§ 320935(a), 320935(b)–(e), 108 Stat. 2135 (Sept. 13, 1994).

Note: Pursuant to Pub. L. 103–322, § 320935(c), the Judicial Conference transmitted a report to Congress on February 9, 1995, containing recommendations different from the amendments made by Pub. L. 103–322, § 320935(a). Congress did not adopt the recommendations submitted or provide otherwise by law.

Effective date: July 9, 1995
Dec. 1, 1997 Amending:

  • Rule 407 (Subsequent Remedial Measures)
  • Rule 801 (Hearsay: Definitions)
  • Rule 803 (Hearsay Exceptions; Availability of Declarant Immaterial)
  • Rule 804 (Hearsay Exceptions; Declarant Unavailable)
  • Rule 806 (Attacking and Supporting Credibility of Declarant)
Adding:

  • Rule 807 (Residual Exception)
Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated April 11, 1997, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 520 U.S. 1323 (Apr. 11, 1997); 143 Cong. Rec. 5550 (1997) (Ex. Comm. 2798); 143 Cong. Rec. H1540 (daily ed. Apr. 15, 1997) (Ex. Comm. 2798); H. Doc. 105–69; see also 1997 Legislative History Page [Pending].

Effective date: Dec. 1, 1997
Dec. 1, 1998Amending Rule 615 (Exclusion Of Witnesses)Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated April 24, 1998, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 523 U.S. 1235 (Apr. 24, 1998); 144 Cong. Rec. 8151 (May 5, 1998) (Ex. Comm. 8996); 144 Cong. Rec. H2813 (daily ed. May 5, 1998) (Ex. Comm. 8996); H. Doc. 105–268; see also 1998 Legislative History Page [Pending].

Effective date: Dec. 1, 1998
Dec. 1, 2000 Amending:

  • Rule 103 (Rulings on Evidence)
  • Rule 404 (Character Evidence Not Admissible To Prove Conduct; Exceptions; Other Crimes)
  • Rule 701 (Opinion Testimony by Lay Witnesses)
  • Rule 702 (Testimony by Experts)
  • Rule 703 (Bases of Opinion Testimony by Experts)
  • Rule 803 (Hearsay Exceptions; Availability of Declarant Immaterial)
  • Rule 902 (Self-Authentication)
Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order April 17, 2000, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 529 U.S. 1189 (Apr. 17, 2000); 146 Cong. Rec. 6328 (May 2, 2000) (Ex. Comm. 7333); H. Doc. 106–225; see also 2000 Legislative History Page [Pending].

Effective date: Dec. 1, 2000
Dec. 1, 2003 The amendment affected Rule 608(b) (Specific Instances of Conduct) Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated March 27, 2003, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 538 U.S. 1097 (March 27, 2003); 149 Cong. Rec. 7689 (March 27, 2003) (Ex. Comm. 1494); 149 Cong. Rec. H2467 (daily ed. March 27, 2003) (Ex. Comm. 1494); 149 Cong. Rec. S4628 (daily ed. April 1, 2003) (Ex. Comm. 1784); H. Doc. 108–57; see also 2003 Legislative History Page.

Effective date: Dec. 1, 2003
Dec. 1, 2006 Amending:

  • Rule 404 (Character Evidence Generally)
  • Rule 408 (Compromise and Offers to Compromise)
  • Rule 606 (Competency of Juror as Witness)
  • Rule 609 (Impeachment by Evidence of Conviction of Crime)
Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated April 12, 2006, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See 547 U.S. 1281 (Apr. 12, 2006); 152 Cong. Rec. S3504 (daily ed. April 25, 2006) (Ex. Comm. 6395); 152 Cong. Rec. H2179 (daily ed. May 8, 2006) (Ex. Comm. 7320); H. Doc. 109–108; see also 2006 Legislative History Page.

Effective date: Dec. 1, 2006
Sept. 19, 2008 Adding Rule 502 (Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product; Limitations on Waiver) and inserting item 502 in the Table of Contents Pub. Law No. 110–322, 122 Stat. 3537 (Sept. 19, 2008); see also FRE 502 Legislative History Page; FRE 502 Resource Page.

Effective date: The amendment applies in all proceedings commenced after September 19, 2008, and, insofar as is just and practicable, in all proceedings pending on that date.
Dec. 1, 2010Amending Rule 804(b)(3) (Statement Against Interest) Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated April 28, 2010, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See _ U.S. _; 156 Cong. Rec. S3006 (April 30, 2010) (Ex. Comm. 5679); 156 Cong. Rec. H3481 (May 13, 2010) (Ex. Comm. 7475); H. Doc. 111—113; see also 2010 Legislative History Page

Effective date: Dec. 1, 2010
Dec. 1, 2011Restyling the Federal Rules of EvidenceAdopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated April 26, 2011, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See _ U.S. _; 157 Cong. Rec. S2579 (May 2, 2011) (Ex Comm. 1384); 157 Cong. Rec. H3407 (May 24, 2011) (Ex. Comm. 1662); H. Doc. No. 112–28 (May 24, 2011); see also Restyling The Federal Rules Of Evidence Legislative History Page.

Effective date: Dec. 1, 2011
Dec. 1, 2013Amending Rule 803(10) (Absence of a Public Record)Adopted by the Supreme Court under the Rules Enabling Act by order dated April 16, 2013, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on the same day. See _ U.S. _; 159 Cong. Rec. S3027 (April 25, 2013) (Ex Comm. 1361); 159 Cong. Rec. H2652 (May 15, 2013) (Ex. Comm. 1492); H. Doc. No. 113–26 (May 15, 2013); see also FRE 803(10) Amendment Legislative History Page.

Effective date: Dec. 1, 2013

Information Originally Based Upon: Federal Rules of Evidence, House Judiciary Committee Print No. 8, 110th Cong. 2d Sess. (Dec. 1, 2008) (Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives) (modified and updated).

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