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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Free Exercise of Religion by Secular Organizations and Their Owners: Implications for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Free Exercise of Religion by Secular Organizations and Their Owners: Implications for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Date: March 21, 2014
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report examines the constitutional and statutory protections related to free exercise of religion, including current Supreme Court interpretations, as well as judicial and legislative avoidance of defining the parameters of religious belief. It also discusses significant examples of existing religious exemptions in current law, such as employment nondiscrimination, health care, and public accommodations law. Finally, it analyzes recent federal judicial decisions that have considered the religious freedom rights of commercial entities whose owners have religious objections to the contraceptive coverage requirement.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Date: February 4, 2014
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report provides historical background of the United Nations Human Rights Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions. Finally, it highlights possible policy issues for the 112th Congress, including the overall effectiveness of the Council in addressing human rights, implications for U.S. membership, and U.S. financial contributions to the Council.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report analyzes the existing law and authority to detain U.S. persons, including American citizens and resident aliens, as well as other persons within the United States who are suspected of being members, agents, or associates of Al Qaeda or possibly other terrorist organizations as "enemy combatants."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background, Legislation, and Policy Issues

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background, Legislation, and Policy Issues

Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: This report provides background on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), discusses the categories of records FOIA exempts from public release, and analyzes statistics on FOIA administration. It also provides background on several legal and policy issues related to FOIA, including the release of controversial records, the growth in use of certain FOIA exemptions, and the adoption of new technologies to improve FOIA administration. The report concludes with an examination of potential FOIA-related policy options for the 113th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background

National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background

Date: January 3, 2014
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report discusses the USA PATRIOT Act (107-56) and its expanded authority to issue national security letters (NSLs). A report by the Department of Justice's Inspector General (IG) found that in its pre-amendment use of expanded USA PATRIOT Act authority the FBI had "used NSLs in violation of applicable NSL statutes, Attorney General Guidelines, and internal FBI policies," but that no criminal laws had been broken.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Date: July 25, 2013
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: Report that provides a background to the detention of enemy belligerents, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Search and Seizure Cases in the October 2012 Term of the Supreme Court

Search and Seizure Cases in the October 2012 Term of the Supreme Court

Date: May 15, 2013
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: The Supreme Court decided four search and seizure cases during its October 2012 term: Florida v. Jardines, Florida v. Harris, Bailey v. United, and Missouri v. McNeely. This report discusses the prior precedents in each case as well as the decision reached by the Court.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Date: April 30, 2013
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report provides historical background of the Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions. Finally, it highlights possible policy issues for the 113th Congress, including the overall effectiveness of the Council in addressing human rights situations, implications for U.S. membership, and U.S. financial contributions to the Council.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations

Date: April 24, 2013
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report provides background information on key elements of the FBI terrorism investigative process, based on publicly available information. This report sets forth possible considerations for Congress as it executes its oversight role, including the extent to which intelligence has been integrated into FBI operations to support its counterterrorism mission and the progress the Bureau has made on its intelligence reform initiatives.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Authority to Regulate Firearms: A Legal Overview

Congressional Authority to Regulate Firearms: A Legal Overview

Date: April 5, 2013
Creator: Chu, Vivian S.
Description: Courts have been confronted with the question of whether federal laws can be applied to intrastate possession and intrastate transfers of firearms, or whether such application exceeds the authority of Congress. This report explores these cases and how courts have analyzed these as-applied challenges under the Supreme Court's Commerce Clause jurisprudence primarily set forth in United States v. Lopez.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department