The United States of America did not have a uniform federal criminal procedure for almost 150 years. The Judiciary Act of 1789 may be considered as a first step in that direction. However, it was not comprehensive. In the year 1933, the United States Congress authorized the Supreme Court to prescribe rules for criminal appellate procedure. The first Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure came into effect on March 21st, 1946. Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (1946) are rules that govern the procedures in all criminal proceedings in the United States district courts, the United States courts of appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure come under Title 28 of the United states Code.
The Rules Enabling Act authorizes the Supreme Court of the US to prescribe these rules. The rules are drafted by a standing Advisory Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Members of this committee include representatives from the Unites States Department of Justice, lawyers, judges and legal scholars. Comments from the public are also considered. The Advisory Committee than submits the rules to the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. This committee then submits the rules to the Judicial Conference, which in turn recommends them to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court transmits a copy of the rules to United States Congress. The Congress has the authority to modify the rules before enacting them. It may also reject the rules. Congress has passed its own rules on some occasions. Generally, minutes of all the meetings of the Advisory Committee of the Judicial Conference and the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure are made available to the public.
Before the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure was amended in the year 1949, the United States Attorney General was responsible for transmitting the rules to the Congress. Currently the Chief Justice is responsible. A copy of the rules must be transmitted to the United States Congress before May 1st of the year it is expected to be enacted. The rules take effect after December 1st of the same year. The rules are published with explanatory notes, which facilitate easy interpretation.