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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis

Date: September 30, 2010
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: In recent years, several Members of Congress have expressed interest in amending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," (DADT) a legislation that requires those of homosexual orientation in the military to keep quiet about their orientation in order to maintain "morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion." At least two bills that would repeal the law and replace it with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation - H.R. 1283 and S. 3065 - have been introduced in the 111th Congress. This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against DADT; for a policy analysis, see CRS Report R40782, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": Military Policy and the Law on
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Survey of Federal Laws Containing Goals, Set-Asides, Priorities, or Other Preferences Based on Race, Gender, or Ethnicity

Survey of Federal Laws Containing Goals, Set-Asides, Priorities, or Other Preferences Based on Race, Gender, or Ethnicity

Date: October 1, 2010
Creator: Feder, Jody; Manuel, Kate M. & Taylor, Julia
Description: This report provides a broad, but by no means exhaustive, survey of federal statutes that specifically refer to race, gender, or ethnicity as factors to be considered in the administration of any federal program.
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The Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": Issues for Congress

The Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": Issues for Congress

Date: April 5, 2012
Creator: Burrelli, David F.
Description: On December 22, 2010, President Obama signed into law legislation calling for the repeal of the existing law barring open homosexuality in the military by prescribing a series of steps that must take place before repeal occurs. One step was fulfilled on July 22, 2011, when the President signed the certification of the process ending the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, which was repealed on September 20, 2011. This report considers issues that Congress may wish to consider as the repeal process proceeds.
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Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status

Date: November 14, 2011
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
Description: Recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission), the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) was initially established as an agency within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) in 2004. Critics, however, maintained that the board appeared to be a presidential appendage, devoid of the capability to exercise independent judgment and assessment or to provide impartial findings and recommendations. This viewpoint gained acceptance in the 110th Congress when the PCLOB was reconstituted as an independent agency within the executive branch by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act (IR9/11CA), signed into law on August 6, 2007. On January 5, 2011, President Obama nominated two people to serve on the board, but the Senate has not confirmed either. This report will be updated as events warrant.
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Federal Civil Rights Statutes: A Primer

Federal Civil Rights Statutes: A Primer

Date: March 26, 2012
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: Under federal law, an array of civil rights statutes are available to protect individuals from discrimination. This report provides a brief summary of selected federal civil rights statutes.
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Racial Profiling: Legal and Constitutional Issues

Racial Profiling: Legal and Constitutional Issues

Date: April 16, 2012
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: Racial profiling is the practice of targeting individuals for police or security detention based on their race or ethnicity in the belief that certain minority groups are more likely to engage in unlawful behavior. Examples of racial profiling by law enforcement agencies suggest that minorities are disproportionately the subject of security-related practices. The issue has periodically attracted congressional interest and several courts have considered the constitutional ramifications of the practice as an "unreasonable search and seizure" under the Fourth Amendment and, more recently, as a denial of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection guarantee. A variety of federal and state statutes provide potential relief to individuals who claim that their rights are violated by race-based law enforcement practices and policies.
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Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Employment: A Legal Analysis of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Employment: A Legal Analysis of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

Date: June 8, 2012
Creator: Jody Feder & Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report discusses issues surrounding the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on an individual's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by public and private employers in hiring, discharge, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment. The stated purpose of the legislation is "to address the history and widespread pattern of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by private sector employers and local, State, and Federal Government employers," as well as to provide effective remedies for such discrimination. Patterned on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the act would be enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
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The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Background and Policy Issues

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Background and Policy Issues

Date: June 9, 2011
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report provides an overview of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child's (CRC) background and structure and examines evolving U.S. policy toward the Convention, including past and current Administration positions and congressional perspectives. It also highlights issues for the 112th Congress, including the Convention's possible impact on federal and state laws, U.S. sovereignty, parental rights, and U.S. family planning and abortion policy. In addition, the report addresses the effectiveness of CRC in protecting the rights of children internationally and its potential use as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
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The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Background and Policy Issues

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Background and Policy Issues

Date: July 2, 2012
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report provides an overview of the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Rights of the Child's (CRC's) background and structure and examines evolving U.S. policy toward the CRC, including past and current Administration positions and congressional perspectives. It also highlights issues for the 112th Congress, including the CRC's possible impact on federal and state laws, U.S. sovereignty, parental rights, and U.S. family planning and abortion policy. In addition, the report addresses the effectiveness of CRC in protecting the rights of children internationally and its potential use as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
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The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate

The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate

Date: April 15, 2011
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report provides an overview of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and describes its background, objectives, and structure, including the role of the Convention's monitoring body, the CEDAW Committee. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
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Military Personnel and Freedom of Religion: Selected Legal Issues

Military Personnel and Freedom of Religion: Selected Legal Issues

Date: February 1, 2011
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck & Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report provides an overview of the requirements of the First Amendment related to military personnel's religious exercise. It analyzes current constitutional and statutory requirements regarding religious exercise, and provides a framework for how Congress and the courts might consider future issues that arise related to service members' religious exercise. Specifically, the report examines the limitations placed on service members in uniform in the exercise of their religious beliefs. It also examines the role of military chaplains and the legal challenges associated with publicly funding religious personnel. The report analyzes efforts by Congress and the Department of Defense to address the constitutional concerns that are raised by these issues.
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Religion and the Workplace: Legal Analysis of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as It Applies to Religion and Religious Organizations

Religion and the Workplace: Legal Analysis of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as It Applies to Religion and Religious Organizations

Date: January 20, 2011
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report reviews the scope of Title VII as it applies to religion and religious organizations and the requirements of the anti-discrimination protections and the accommodations provision. It also analyzes the exemptions available to religious organizations for the non-discrimination rules.
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Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status

Date: August 27, 2012
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
Description: This report examines initial responses to the 9/11 Commission's call for a board to oversee adherence to presidential guidelines on information sharing that safeguard the privacy of individuals about whom information is shared, and the implementation of this board.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993: History, Implementation, and Effects

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993: History, Implementation, and Effects

Date: September 18, 2013
Creator: Crocker, Royce
Description: This report discusses the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. §1973–1973aa-6), which required states to establish voter registration procedures for federal elections so that eligible citizens might apply to register to vote (1) simultaneously while applying for a driver's license, (2) by mail, and (3) at selected state and local offices that serve the public. The law took effect on January 1, 1995, for most states.
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Photo ID Requirements for Voting: Background and Legal Issues

Photo ID Requirements for Voting: Background and Legal Issues

Date: November 2, 2012
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J.; Fischer, Eric A. & Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Report concerning the controversy surrounding some states' requirements that voters provide photographic identification before casting a ballot.
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"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis

Date: August 6, 2013
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)".
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Date: February 6, 2014
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report provides an overview of the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Rights of the Child's (CRC's) background and structure and examines evolving U.S. policy toward the CRC, including past and current Administration positions and congressional perspectives. It also highlights issues for the 112th Congress, including the CRC's possible impact on federal and state laws, U.S. sovereignty, parental rights, and U.S. family planning and abortion policy. In addition, the report addresses the effectiveness of CRC in protecting the rights of children internationally and its potential use as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Voting Rights Act of 1965: Background and Overview

The Voting Rights Act of 1965: Background and Overview

Date: July 1, 2014
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J.
Description: This report provides background information on the historical circumstances that led to the adoption of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), a summary of its major provisions, and a brief discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court decision and related legislation in the 113th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Employment: A Legal Analysis of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Employment: A Legal Analysis of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

Date: May 3, 2013
Creator: Jody Feder & Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report discusses issues surrounding the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on an individual's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by public and private employers in hiring, discharge, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate

The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate

Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Feder, Jody & Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report discusses issues surrounding the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on an individual's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by public and private employers in hiring, discharge, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate

The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate

Date: May 7, 2013
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report addresses CEDAW's background, objectives, and structure and provides an overview of U.S. policy toward the Convention. It examines issues that have been raised in the U.S. ratification debate, including the treaty's impact on U.S. sovereignty, the effectiveness of the Convention, and its possible use as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy. It also describes controversial provisions and CEDAW Committee recommendations addressing the role of women in society and women's equal access to education and healthcare.
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Afro-Latinos in Latin America and Considerations for U.S. Policy

Afro-Latinos in Latin America and Considerations for U.S. Policy

Date: July 7, 2008
Creator: Seelke, Claire Ribando
Description: This report reviews and analyzes the situation, concerns, and activities of Afro-descendants in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking nations of Latin America. It then discusses current U.S. foreign aid programs, as well as multilateral initiatives, that have directly or indirectly assisted Afro-Latinos. The report concludes with a discussion of potential policy options that have been proposed should the United States elect to provide further support for Afro-Latinos.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Civil Rights Statutes: A Primer

Federal Civil Rights Statutes: A Primer

Date: October 24, 2008
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: This report provides a brief overview of selected federal civil rights statutes. This report is intended to provide an introductory overview and comparison of the selected statutes and therefore does not address additional civil rights protections that may be available under state or local statutes or federal or state constitutional law.
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The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: History, Funding, and Current Issues

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: History, Funding, and Current Issues

Date: October 3, 2008
Creator: Laney, Garrine P.
Description: This report provides a history of the establishment of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), including its funding, legislation expanding its authorities, and the philosophical differences concerning civil rights that have evolved during the past few decades that affect the agency's independence and effectiveness.
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