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 Resource Type: Report
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Date: July 12, 2010
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R.
Description: The lines of authority between states and the federal government are, to a significant extent, defined by the United States Constitution and relevant case law. In recent years, however, the Supreme Court has decided a number of cases that would seem to reevaluate this historical relationship. This report discusses state and federal legislative power generally, focusing on a number of these "federalism" cases.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The European Union's Reform Process: The Lisbon Treaty

The European Union's Reform Process: The Lisbon Treaty

Date: November 9, 2009
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Description: This report provides information on the Lisbon Treaty and possible U.S.-EU implications that may be of interest to the 111th Congress.
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A Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: Background and Congressional Options

A Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: Background and Congressional Options

Date: July 20, 2011
Creator: Saturno, James V. & Lynch, Megan Suzanne
Description: One of the most persistent political issues facing Congress in recent decades is whether to require that the budget of the United States be in balance. Although a balanced federal budget has long been held as a political ideal, the accumulation of large deficits in recent years has heightened concern that some action to require a balance between revenues and expenditures may be necessary. This report provides an overview of the issues and options that have been raised during prior consideration of proposals for a balanced budget constitutional amendment.
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Campaign Finance Reform: Constitutional Issues Raised by Disclosure Requirements

Campaign Finance Reform: Constitutional Issues Raised by Disclosure Requirements

Date: March 20, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Campaign finance reform legislation often contains provisions that would impose additional reporting and disclosure requirements under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). For example, S. 27 (McCain/Feingold), would require disclosure of disbursements of expenditures over $10,000 for “electioneering communications,” which are defined to include broadcast ads that “refer” to federal office candidates, with identification of donors of $500 or more. S. 22 (Hagel/Landrieu) would increase and expedite current disclosure requirements under FECA. H.R. 380 (Shays/Meehan) would lower the current FECA threshold for contribution reporting from $200 to $50 and impose reporting requirements for soft money disbursements by persons other than political parties. This report will discuss some of the constitutional issues relating to these and other such disclosure requirements.
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Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Date: September 23, 2013
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R.
Description: This report discusses state and federal legislative power generally and focuses on a number of these "federalism" cases. The report discusses state and federal legislative power generally, and focuses on a number of these "federalism" cases.1 Issues addressed include congressional power under the Commerce Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment; limits on congressional powers, such as the Tenth Amendment; state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment; and grant condition imposed under the Spending Clause.
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A Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: Background and Congressional Options

A Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: Background and Congressional Options

Date: March 20, 1997
Creator: Saturno, James V
Description: One of the most persistent political issues facing Congress in recent years is whether to require that the budget of the United States be in balance. Although a balanced federal budget has long been held as a political ideal, the accumulation of large deficits in recent years has heightened concern that some action to require a balance between revenues and expenditures may be necessary. The debate over a balanced budget measure actually consists of several interrelated debates, which this report addresses.
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A Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: Background and Congressional Options

A Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: Background and Congressional Options

Date: July 8, 2011
Creator: Saturno, James V. & Lynch, Megan Suzanne
Description: One of the most persistent political issues facing Congress in recent decades is whether to require that the budget of the United States be in balance. Although a balanced federal budget has long been held as a political ideal, the accumulation of large deficits in recent years has heightened concern that some action to require a balance between revenues and expenditures may be necessary. This report provides an overview of the issues and options that have been raised during prior consideration of proposals for a balanced budget constitutional amendment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Victims' Rights Amendment in the 106th Congress: Overview of Suggestions to Amend the Constitution

Victims' Rights Amendment in the 106th Congress: Overview of Suggestions to Amend the Constitution

Date: January 12, 2001
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: None
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Victims' Rights Amendment: Proposals to Amend the United States Constitution in the 106th Congress

Victims' Rights Amendment: Proposals to Amend the United States Constitution in the 106th Congress

Date: May 12, 2000
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: None
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Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends

Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends

Date: August 3, 2001
Creator: Costello, George
Description: None
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Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government

Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government

Date: November 2, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report discusses the political situation in Afghanistan, more specifically it discusses the recent elections, newly formed constitution and the elected government.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government

Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government

Date: May 25, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: In 2004 and 2005, Afghanistan adopted a permanent constitution and elected a president and a parliament. The parliament is emerging as a significant force in Afghan politics, as shown in debates over a new cabinet and the 2006 budget. See CRS Report RL30588, Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, by Kenneth Katzman.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government

Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government

Date: May 1, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: In 2004 and 2005, Afghanistan adopted a permanent constitution and elected a president and a parliament. The parliament is emerging as a significant force in Afghan politics, as shown in debate over a new cabinet proposed in March 2006. However, insurgent violence continues to threaten Afghan stability. See CRS Report RL30588, Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, by Kenneth Katzman.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Date: February 1, 2008
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R.
Description: The report discusses state and federal legislative power generally, and focuses on a number of these "federalism" cases. Issues addressed include congressional power under the Commerce Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment; limits on congressional powers, such as the Tenth Amendment; and state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Date: September 8, 2014
Creator: Ruane, Kathleen Ann
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview

Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview

Date: October 13, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report briefly explores the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), which requires imposition of a minimum 15-year term of imprisonment for recidivists convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 922(g). Section 924(e) applies only to those defendants who have three prior state or federal convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses. The report includes descriptions of constitutional challenges to the application of section 924(e), which have been generally unsuccessful.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Balanced Budget and Spending Limitations: Proposed Constitutional Amendments in the 97th Congress

Balanced Budget and Spending Limitations: Proposed Constitutional Amendments in the 97th Congress

Date: April 3, 1981
Creator: Schick, Allen & Strickland, Daniel P
Description: Expenditures and revenue limitation proposals link Federal spending and taxation to some measure of economic performance, such as the rate of economic growth or percentage levels of GNP or national income. The report presents this issue brief reviews, the various approaches to balance the budget and to impose spending limitations offered as constitutional amendments’ in the 97 congress.
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Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: July 21, 2004
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
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Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: January 22, 2004
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: February 4, 2004
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: August 10, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: "Soft money" has become one of the major issues in the area of campaign financing in federal elections. The controversy surrounding this issue is due to the perception that soft money may be the largest loophole in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Soft money is broadly defined as funds that are raised and spent according to applicable state laws; that would be impermissible, under the FECA, to spend directly in federal elections and that may have an indirect influence on federal elections. This Issue Brief discusses three major types of soft money: political party soft money, corporate and labor union soft money, and soft money used for issue advocacy communications.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Constitutionality of Requiring Photo Identification for Voting: An Analysis of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board

The Constitutionality of Requiring Photo Identification for Voting: An Analysis of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board

Date: May 19, 2008
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: In a splintered decision issued in April 2008, the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana statute requiring identification for voting, determining that lower courts had correctly decided that the evidence in the record was insufficient to support a facial attack on the constitutionality of the law. Written by Justice Stevens, the lead opinion in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board finds that the law imposes only "a limited burden on voters' rights," which is justified by state interests.
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Constitutionality of Requiring Sexually Explicit Material on the Internet to be Under a Separate Domain Name

Constitutionality of Requiring Sexually Explicit Material on the Internet to be Under a Separate Domain Name

Date: January 3, 2006
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: It is unclear whether making a “.xxx” domain mandatory would violate the First Amendment. Some propose making use of a “.xxx” domain voluntary, but others propose that Congress make it mandatory. The latter proposal raises the question whether a mandatory separate domain would violate the First Amendment, and this report focuses on that question.
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Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination

Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination

Date: December 6, 2004
Creator: Shampansky, Jay R
Description: This report provides an overview of the major issues which have been raised recently in the Senate regarding the Judicial Nominations, Filibusters, and the Constitution: When a Majority Is Denied Its Right to Consent and in the press concerning the constitutionality of a Senate filibuster (i.e., extended debate) of a judicial nomination.
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