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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: June 3, 2010
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: In 1993, after many months of study, debate, and political controversy, Congress passed and President Clinton signed legislation establishing a revised "[p]olicy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces." The new legislation reflected a compromise regarding the U.S. military's policy toward members of the armed forces who engage in homosexual conduct. This compromise, colloquially referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)," holds that "[t]he presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability." Service members are not to be asked about, nor allowed to discuss, their sexual orientation. This compromise notwithstanding, the issue has remained both politically and legally contentious. This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against DADT.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status

Date: May 21, 2010
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 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: May 10, 2010
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is an international treaty that addresses the rights of children worldwide. It calls on States Parties to take all appropriate measures to ensure that children receive special rights, including the right to a name and nationality; access to healthcare, education, and parental care; and protection from exploitation, abuse, and neglect. This report provides a brief history of the Convention and outlines its objectives and structure, including the role and responsibilities of the treaty's monitoring body, the Committee on the Rights of the Child. It examines U.S. policy toward CRC, including the positions of past and current Administrations and congressional perspectives. The report also addresses selected policy issues that the 111th Congress may wish to take into account if considering ratification of CRC-- including the treaty's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, federal and state laws, and parental rights. Other issues for possible consideration include the effectiveness of the Convention in protecting children's rights, and its role as a U.S. foreign policy instrument.
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 5, 2010
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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: December 2, 2009
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.
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: November 17, 2009
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis

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

Date: September 2, 2009
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: In 1993, after many months of study, debate, and political controversy, Congress passed and President Clinton signed legislation establishing a revised "[p]olicy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces." The new legislation reflected a compromise regarding the U.S. military's policy toward members of the armed forces who engage in homosexual conduct. This compromise, colloquially referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)," holds that "[t]he presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability." Service members are not to be asked about, nor allowed to discuss, their sexual orientation. This compromise notwithstanding, the issue has remained both politically and legally contentious. This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against DADT.
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: August 7, 2009
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. 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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: August 5, 2009
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Homosexuals and the U.S. Military: Current Issues

Homosexuals and the U.S. Military: Current Issues

Date: July 22, 2009
Creator: Burrelli, David F. & Feder, Jody
Description: This report examines the "don't ask, don't tell," policy in the U.S. military. "Don't ask, don't tell," holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. Service members are not to be asked about nor allowed to discuss their homosexuality.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department