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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Bringing Peace to Chechnya?: Assessments and Implications
A consistent theme of U.S. and other international criticism of Russia is that Russian troops use excessive and indiscriminate force to quell separatism in Chechnya and commit serious human rights abuses. There appeared to be fewer Administration suggestions to Russia that it should open peace talks with “moderate” separatists, more tolerance for Russia’s argument that it primarily was battling terrorism in Chechnya, and some hope that elections and rebuilding in Chechnya could contribute to a “political settlement.” But some in the Administration also argue that Russia is showing declining interest in the adoption of Western democratic and human rights “values,” and that such slippage could ultimately harm bilateral relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9139/
Toxics Release Inventory: Do Communities Have a Right to Know More?
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs454/
Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment: Buckley v. Valeo and its Supreme Court Progeny
This report first discusses the critical holdings enunciated bythe SupremeCourt in Buckley, including those: upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court’s extension of Buckley in fifteen subsequent cases, evaluating them in three regulatory contexts: contribution limits (California Medical Association v. FEC; Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley; Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC; FEC v. Beaumont), expenditure limits (First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti; FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life; Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce; FEC v. National Right to Work; Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado I) v. FEC; FEC v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado II); FEC v. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; FEC v. National Conservative Political Action Committee), and disclosure requirements (Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation; Brown v. Socialist Workers ‘74 Campaign Committee; FEC v. Akins; McIntrye v. Ohio Elections Commission). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4392/
Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment: Buckley v. Valeo and its Supreme Court Progeny
This report first discusses the critical holdings enunciated bythe SupremeCourt in Buckley, including those: upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court’s extension of Buckley in fifteen subsequent cases, evaluating them in three regulatory contexts: contribution limits (California Medical Association v. FEC; Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley; Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC; FEC v. Beaumont), expenditure limits (First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti; FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life; Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce; FEC v. National Right to Work; Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado I) v. FEC; FEC v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado II); FEC v. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; FEC v. National Conservative Political Action Committee), and disclosure requirements (Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation; Brown v. Socialist Workers ‘74 Campaign Committee; FEC v. Akins; McIntrye v. Ohio Elections Commission). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4391/
Tobacco Advertising: Whether the FDA's Restrictions Violate Freedom of Speech
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs402/
Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9394/
Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Final Rule
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3928/
Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Final Rule
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3929/
China and "Falun Gong"
“Falun Gong,” also known as “Falun Dafa,”1 combines an exercise regimen with meditation and moral tenets. The “Falun Gong” movement has led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. On April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 adherents assembled in front of Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound, and participated in a silent protest against state repression of their activities. On July 21, 1999, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of the spread of social unrest, outlawed the movement and began to arrest Falun Gong protesters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3927/
Hurricane Katrina: HIPAA Privacy and Electronic Health Records of Evacuees
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7766/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3915/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3917/
Detention of American Citizens as Enemy Combatants
This report provides background information regarding the cases of two U.S. citizens deemed “enemy combatants,” Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been returned to Saudi Arabia, and Jose Padilla, who remains in military custody. The report addresses the constitutional and statutory sources that arguably provide authority for the detention of enemy combatants, as well as those that may prevent the exercise of that power with respect to U.S. citizens. The report concludes that historically, even during declared wars, additional statutory authority has been seen as necessary to validate the detention of citizens not members of any armed forces, casting in some doubt the argument that the power to detain is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force. Finally, the report briefly analyzes the Detention of Enemy Combatants Act, H.R. 1029, which would authorize the President to detain U.S. citizens and residents who are determined to be “enemy combatants” in certain circumstances. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3919/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3916/
Russia's Religion Law: Assessments and Implications
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs771/
China and "Falun Gong"
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7854/
Overview and Analysis of Senate Amendment Concerning Interrogation of Detainees
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7959/
Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues
Report that provides background on the development of intelligence satellites and identifies the roles various agencies play in their management and use. Issues surrounding the current policy and proposed changes are discussed, followed by a discussion of legal considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228075/
Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
This report discusses federal laws governing consumer financial information held by financial companies, Gramm-Leach-Bliley's privacy provisions, and public and industry reaction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84092/
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents
The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 affirm that the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons captured in connection with hostilities. This report provides a background to the legal issues presented, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals. An overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to the national security is presented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84022/
Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses
This report first explores the potential uses of drones in the domestic sphere by federal, state, and local governments. It then surveys current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, including cases surrounding privacy in the home, privacy in public spaces, location tracking, manned aerial surveillance, and those involving the national border. Next, it considers how existing jurisprudence may inform current and proposed drone uses. It then describes the various legislative measures introduced in the 112th Congress to address the legal and policy issues surrounding drones and, finally, briefly identifies several alternative approaches that may constrain the potential scope of drone surveillance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122251/
Free Exercise of Religion by Secular Organizations and Their Owners: Implications for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284518/
Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings
This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants and also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287956/
China, Internet Freedom, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Congressional interest in how Internet use in the People's Republic of China (PRC) is tied to human rights concerns in several ways: as a U.S. policy tool for promoting rights in China; though use of the Internet political dissidents and political repression; the role of U.S. Internet companies in spreading freedom and complying with PRC censorship; and the development of U.S. Internet freedom policies globally. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98026/
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents
This report provides a background to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012, the Authorization to use Military Force act, and the President's power to detain "enemy combatants." It then gives a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals and an overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to national security. It concludes by discussion Congress's role in prescribing rules for wartime detention as well as legislative proposals in the 112th Congress to address the detention of U.S. persons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93921/
Gun Control: Statutory Disclosure Limitations on ATF Firearms Trace Data and Multiple Handgun Sales Reports
This report briefly describes a provision known as the "Tiahrt" amendment, a rider on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) appropriations that prohibits ATF from disclosing firearm trace data and multiple handgun sales reports data for any purpose other than supporting a criminal investigatoin or agency licensing proceeding. The Tiahrt amendment is so called because its sponsor is Representative Todd Tiahrt. A coalition of 210 city mayors favors the repeal of this rider, but there is much opposition to that motion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26332/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
Iraq's political transition from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to a plural polity that encompasses varying sects and ideological and political factions has been accomplished through a series of elections that began in 2005. However, disputes regarding various communities' claims on power and economic resources has contributed to popular frustration and continued political unrest. This report discusses these issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40258/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment - of the ways that the Supreme Court has interpreted the guarantee of freedom of speech and press to provide no protection or only limited protection for some types of speech. For example, the Court has decided that the First Amendment provides no protection to obscenity, child pornography, or speech that constitutes "advocacy of the use of force or of law violation ... where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29495/
Legal Standing Under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause
This report analyzes the constitutional issues associated with standing (a restraint on the power of federal courts to render decisions), specifically related to cases arising under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment regarding religion. It provides a background on the doctrine of standing, including the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of various types of standing: standing to sue as a citizen, as a taxpayer, and on behalf of another party. It also examines the current standing rules related to the Establishment Clause. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97978/
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents
This report provides a background to the legal issues presented, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals. An overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to the national security is presented. The report concludes by discussing Congress's role in prescribing rules for wartime detention as well as legislative proposals in the 112th Congress to address the detention of U.S. persons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462046/
Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues
This report provides background on the development of intelligence satellites and identifies the roles various agencies play in their management and use. Issues surrounding the current policy and proposed changes are discussed, including the findings of an Independent Study Group (ISG) with respect to the increased sharing of satellite intelligence data. There follows a discussion of legal considerations, including whether satellite reconnaissance might constitute a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment; an overview of statutory authorities, as well as restrictions that might apply; and a brief description of executive branch authorities and Department of Defense directives that might apply. The report concludes by suggesting policy issues Congress may consider as it deliberates the potential advantages and pitfalls that may be encountered in expanding the role of satellite intelligence for homeland security purposes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463237/
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents
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." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463062/
Search and Seizure Cases in the October 2012 Term of the Supreme Court
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462605/
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iran, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491379/
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress
This report reviews and discusses President Obama's Open Government Initiative and the Open Government Directive. The report then analyzes both agency response to the OGI and the OGD, and examines whether the OGD's requirements can meet the stated goals of the Administration. The report discusses the three central tenets of the Administration's OGD--transparency, public participation, and collaboration--and analyzes each one individually to determine whether agencies are meeting these requirements and whether the requirements may improve the effectiveness of the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490864/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 110th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96738/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96739/
National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: Legal Background and Recent Amendments
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10850/
National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse of the Legal Background and Recent Amendments
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10849/
Condemnation of Private Property for Economic Development: Legal Comments on the House-Passed Bill (H.R. 4128) and Bond Amendment
The prohibition on economic development condemnations extends not only to land taken for the explicit purpose of economic development but also to land subsequently so used. The latter coverage raises the possibility that although a parcel was initially condemned for a non-prohibited purpose, its use years later for a prohibited one would trigger the two-year cut-off of federal funds. Nor does there seem to be any proportionality requirement between the prohibited condemnations and the length and scope of the federal funds suspension. If Congress’ Spending Power includes a proportionality requirement for conditions on federal funds, as the Court suggests, the absence of proportionality in some of the bill’s applications may raise a constitutional issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8250/
The U.N. Convention Against Torture: Overview of U.S. Implementation Policy Concerning the Removal of Aliens
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8768/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
Restrictions on travel to Cuba have been a key and often contentious component in U.S. efforts to isolate the communist government of Fidel Castro for much of the past 40 years. Under the Bush Administration, enforcement of U.S. restrictions on Cuba travel has increased, and restrictions on travel and on private remittances to Cuba have been tightened. Several legislative initiatives have been introduced in the 109th Congress that would ease restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba. These bills would, among other things, lift overall restrictions on travel to Cuba, lift the overall embargo, and ease restrictions on exporting agricultural commodities to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9388/
The U.N. Convention Against Torture: Overview of U.S. Implementation Policy Concerning the Removal of Aliens
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5990/
Data Security: Federal Legislative Approaches
This report discusses the core areas addressed in federal legislation, including the scope of coverage (who is covered and what information is covered); data privacy and security safeguards for sensitive personal information; requirements for security breach notification (when, how, triggers, frequency, and exceptions); restrictions on social security numbers (collection, use, and sale); credit freezes on consumer reports; identity theft penalties; causes of action; and preemption. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9019/
U.S.-Vietnam Relations: Background and Issues for Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9414/
Obscenity: A Legal Primer
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9191/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would have eased U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba, but were not completed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96742/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96741/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96740/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 110th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462925/