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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84081/
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Background and Policy Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93814/
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97977/
Military Personnel and Freedom of Religion: Selected Legal Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103089/
Religion and the Workplace: Legal Analysis of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as It Applies to Religion and Religious Organizations
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103247/
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
The Senate may consider providing its advice and consent to U.S. ratification of the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, or the Convention) during the 112th Congress. CEDAW is the only international human rights treaty that specifically addresses the rights of women. This report provides an overview of CEDAW's 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29572/
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
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 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29576/
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
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 Same-Sex Behavior, by David F. Burrelli. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29577/
Survey of Federal Laws Containing Goals, Set-Asides, Priorities, or Other Preferences Based on Race, Gender, or Ethnicity
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31350/
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
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 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31343/
The Millennium Development Goals: The September 2010 U.N. High-level Meeting
This report discusses overarching trends in Millennium Development Goals (MDG) progress and lessons learned from previous and ongoing efforts to achieve them. The MDGs are a group of measurable development targets agreed to by 189 U.N. member states - including the United States - as part of the 2000 Millennium Declaration. The MDGs cover a number of issues, such as eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, combating HIV/AIDS, and promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. This report examines U.S. policy toward the MDGs and how, if at all, the Goals fit into U.S. development and foreign assistance policy. It also examines different schools of thought regarding the effectiveness of the Goals, their role in international development, and their long-term sustainability. This report addresses the MDGs as a whole; it does not assess or analyze issues pertaining to the individual Goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29607/
The 2009 U.N. Durban Review Conference: Follow-Up to the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism
This report provides information on the 2001 World Conference Against Racism and the circumstances of U.S. withdrawal. It discusses preparations for the Durban Review Conference, including U.S. policy and reaction from other governments. It highlights possible issues for the 111th Congress, including the Review Conference preparatory process, U.S. funding of the Conference, and the political and diplomatic impact of U.S. engagement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26291/
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coverage of Contagious Diseases
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), provides broad nondiscrimination protection for individuals with disabilities in employment public services, public accommodations and services operated by private entities, transportation, and telecommunication. This report briefly discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act's statutory provisions relating to contagious diseases and relevant judicial interpretations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10648/
The War Crimes Act: Current Issues
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Homosexuals and U.S. Military Policy: Current Issues
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Women in Iraq: Background and Issues for U.S. Policy
The issue of women’s rights in Iraq has taken on new relevance, following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, efforts to reconstruct Iraq, and recent elections for a Transitional National Assembly (TNA). Over the past three years, the Bush Administration has reiterated its interest in ensuring that Iraqi women participate in politics and ongoing reconstruction efforts in Iraq. There has also been a widening debate regarding the extent to which the U.S.-led reconstruction efforts have been able to enhance women’s rights in Iraq and encourage their participation in Iraq’s governing institutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8587/
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The Definition of Disability
The threshold issue in any Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) case is whether the individual alleging discrimination is an individual with a disability. The ADA definition is a functional one and does not list specific disabilities. This report discusses the definition of "disability." It also briefly discusses the Supreme Court's opinions and analyze how the lower courts are interpreting the Supreme Court's holdings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9274/
U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques
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Civil Rights Opinions of U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito: A Legal Overview
During his 15 years as a federal appellate judge on the Third Circuit, Judge Alito has written for the majority, concurred, or dissented in several cases alleging discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other prohibited grounds. His legal positions in these cases have varied, depending on the facts and law being applied, and defy rigid or facile classification. Nonetheless, some continuity in judicial approach, both substantive and procedural, may arguably be discerned from a review of several of his significant opinions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8081/
The Pigford Case: USDA Settlement of a Discrimination Suit by Black Farmers
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The Pigford Case: USDA Settlement of a Discrimination Suit by Black Farmers
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Civil Rights of Individuals with Disabilities: The Opinions of Judge Alito
Judge Samuel Alito Jr. was nominated by President Bush to the U.S. Supreme Court on October 31, 2005. This report examines the opinions written by Judge Alito relating to civil rights for individuals with disabilities and includes a discussion of cases relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Fair Housing Amendments Act. In addition, Judge Alito’s federalism decisions are briefly analyzed and their potential impact on disability related issues is discussed. Decisions authored by Judge Alito, as well as selected dissents and decisions where he joined the majority are examined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8080/
Rumsfeld v. FAIR:
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Federal Civil Rights Statutes: A Primer
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Women in Iraq: Background and Issues for U.S. Policy
The issue of women’s rights in Iraq has taken on new relevance, following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, efforts to reconstruct Iraq, and recent elections for a Transitional National Assembly (TNA). Over the past three years, the Bush Administration has reiterated its interest in ensuring that Iraqi women participate in politics and ongoing reconstruction efforts in Iraq. There has also been a widening debate regarding the extent to which the U.S.-led reconstruction efforts have been able to enhance women’s rights in Iraq and encourage their participation in Iraq’s governing institutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7161/
Homosexuals and U.S. Military Policy: Current Issues
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U.S. Treatment of Prisoners in Iraq: Selected Legal Issues
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Homosexuals and U.S. Military Policy: Current Issues
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U.S. Treatment of Prisoners in Iraq: Selected Legal Issues
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Lawfulness of Interrogation Techniques under the Geneva Conventions
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Equal Rights Amendments: State Provisions
Twenty states adopted state equal rights amendments between 1879 and 1998. The texts of most of these amendments either are similar to the proposed federal amendment or restate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The timing of the enactment of these state amendments and the choice of wording reflect both the ebb and flow of the women's movement in the United States and the political culture of the particular states at the time of passage. A brief history of the women's rights movement as it relates to the passage of state equal rights amendments is included. The report ends with the text and the date of enactment of each amendment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7397/
Privacy: Key Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission
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Assistance to Afghan and Iraqi Women: Issues for Congress
This report reviews the U.S.-sponsored funding and programs directed toward women and children in Afghanistan and Iraq. The national and international response to the plight of Afghan and Iraqi women, even to their most recent experience under the Taliban in Afghanistan or Baathist regime in Iraq, will impact their future role and the long-term developments in each country, such as the implementation of a new constitution, the incorporation of women in local and national governance, the role of Islam and the state, the growth of the economy, the curbing of security concerns, and the role of U.S. and international assistance. This report will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7722/
U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques
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U.S. Treatment of Prisoners in Iraq: Selected Legal Issues
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Women in Iraq: Background and Issues for U.S. Policy
The issue of women’s rights in Iraq has taken on new relevance, following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, efforts to reconstruct Iraq, and recent elections for a Transitional National Assembly (TNA). Over the past three years, the Bush Administration has reiterated its interest in ensuring that Iraqi women participate in politics and ongoing reconstruction efforts in Iraq. There has also been a widening debate regarding the extent to which the U.S.-led reconstruction efforts have been able to enhance women’s rights in Iraq and encourage their participation in Iraq’s governing institutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8532/
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Statutory Language and Recent Issues
This report summarizes the major provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and also discusses selected recent issues, including ten ADA Supreme Court cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3932/
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Statutory Language and Recent Issues
This report summarizes the major provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and also discusses selected recent issues, including ten ADA Supreme Court cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3931/
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Statutory Language and Recent Issues
This report summarizes the major provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and also discusses selected recent issues, including ten ADA Supreme Court cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2253/
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Statutory Language and Recent Issues
This report summarizes the major provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and also discusses selected recent issues, including ten ADA Supreme Court cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1460/
Civil Rights Commission Reauthorization
The Civil Rights Commission Act of 1998 (H.R. 3117) would reauthorize the commission through FY2001. It was introduced by Representative Canady on January 28, 1998, referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and reported with an amendment on March 2, 1998. It passed the House, amended, by voice vote on March 18. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs675/
Sex Discrimination in Education: Overview of Title IX
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Civil Rights Legislation: Responses to Grove City College v. Bell
This report discusses how broad should the coverage of Federal civil rights laws be? This was the central issue in the debate over legislation introduced in response to the February 1984 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Grove City College v. Bell. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9068/
Civil Rights Restoration Act: Bibliography-in-Brief, 1984-1988
This bibliography includes references to magazine articles, monographs, and congressional documents which discuss civil rights legislation following 1984 Supreme Court decision in Grove City v. Bell which ruled title IX applies only to the specific program receiving federal financial assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9069/
Legal Implications of the Contagious Disease or Infections Amendment to the Civil Rights Restoration Act, S.557
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Legal Implications of the Contagious Disease or Infections Amendment to the Civil Rights Restoration Act, S.557
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The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987: Legal Analysis of S.557
The Senate i n January 1988 passed S. 557 with amendments to “restore the...broad institution – wide application" of certain federal civil rights laws in the wake of t h e U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Grove City College v. Bell . This report discusses the background and contents of this legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9613/
Equal Rights for Women
Amendments to the Constitution to provide equality of rights for women have been reintroduced in every Congress from the 67th i n 1923 to the 100th in 1987. Also proposed in recent years, although not to date in the 100th Congress, has been legislation to improve women's rights without amending the Constitution: a statue to forbid enforcement of a classification based on sex -- except where necessary to achieve a “compelling state interest, " and a measure providing for selective revision of existing Federal laws that discriminate on the basis of sex. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7362/
Legal Right of Minors to Obtain Contraceptives
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Obscenity: A Legal Primer
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