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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Legislative Prayer and School Prayer: The Constitutional Difference
The Supreme Court's decisions holding government-sponsored prayer in the public schools to violate the First Amendment's establishment clause but prayer in legislative assemblies to be constitutional are sometimes lifted up as contradictory. This report summarizes the relevant decisions and identifies the distinctions the Court has drawn between the two situations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26057/
Legal Analysis of President Reagan's Proposed Constitutional Amendment on School Prayer
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8801/
Legislative Prayer and School Prayer: The Constitutional Difference
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The European Union's Constitution
In June 2004, the European Union (EU) concluded work on a constitutional treaty that contains changes to the EU’s governing institutions and decision-making processes. This new “constitution” grew out of the 2002-2003 Convention on the Future of Europe and previous EU efforts to institute internal reforms ahead of the Union’s expansion from 15 members to 25 in May 2004. The “constitution” aims to enable a larger EU to operate effectively and prevent gridlock, but it must still be ratified by all member states before it enters into force. This report provides background information on the Convention and describes the EU “constitution,” its key provisions, next steps, and possible implications for the U.S.-EU relationship. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6959/
The European Union's "Constitution"
In June 2004, the European Union (EU) concluded work on a constitutional treaty that contains changes to the EU’s governing institutions and decision-making processes. This new “constitution” grew out of the 2002-2003 Convention on the Future of Europe and previous EU efforts to institute internal reforms ahead of the Union’s expansion from 15 members to 25 in May 2004. The “constitution” aims to enable a larger EU to operate effectively and prevent gridlock, but it must still be ratified by all member states before it enters into force. This report provides background information on the Convention and describes the EU “constitution,” its key provisions, next steps, and possible implications for the U.S.-EU relationship. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6958/
The European Union's "Constitution"
In June 2004, the European Union (EU) concluded work on a constitutional treaty that contains changes to the EU’s governing institutions and decision-making processes. This new “constitution” grew out of the 2002-2003 Convention on the Future of Europe and previous EU efforts to institute internal reforms ahead of the Union’s expansion from 15 members to 25 in May 2004. The “constitution” aims to enable a larger EU to operate effectively and prevent gridlock, but it must still be ratified by all member states before it enters into force. This report provides background information on the Convention and describes the EU “constitution,” its key provisions, next steps, and possible implications for the U.S.-EU relationship. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6957/
The European Union's "Constitution"
In June 2004, the European Union (EU) concluded work on a constitutional treaty that contains changes to the EU’s governing institutions and decision-making processes. This new “constitution” grew out of the 2002-2003 Convention on the Future of Europe and previous EU efforts to institute internal reforms ahead of the Union’s expansion from 15 members to 25 in May 2004. The “constitution” aims to enable a larger EU to operate effectively and prevent gridlock, but it must still be ratified by all member states before it enters into force. This report provides background information on the Convention and describes the EU “constitution,” its key provisions, next steps, and possible implications for the U.S.-EU relationship. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6960/
The European Union's Reform Process: The Lisbon Treaty
In December 2007, leaders of the European Union (EU) signed the Lisbon Treaty, which seeks to reform the EU's governing institutions and decisionmaking processes to enable a larger EU to operate more effectively. This new treaty represents the latest stage in a reform process begun in 2002 and essentially replaces the proposed EU "constitution" that foundered after French and Dutch voters rejected it in referendums in 2005. In June 2008, Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty, and have thrown its future into doubt. This report provides background information on EU reform efforts and possible implications for U.S.-EU relations that may be of interest in the second session of the 110th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10595/
The European Union's Reform Process: The Lisbon Treaty
This report provides information on the Lisbon Treaty and possible U.S.-EU implications that may be of interest to the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103234/
Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 affirmed the constitutionality of the so-called beef check-off program, one of the 18 generic promotion programs for agricultural products that are now active nationally. Supporters view check-offs as economically beneficial self-help activities that need minimal government involvement or taxpayer funding. Producers, handlers, and/or importers are required to pay an assessment, usually deducted from revenue at time of sale - thus the name check-off. However, some farmers contend they are being "taxed" for advertising and related activities they would not underwrite voluntarily. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the beef check-off is considered significant for the future of the other programs, although the Court left open the possibility of additional challenges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26082/
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/
Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
This report discusses the constitutional status of child pornography and summarizes federal statutes banning and regulating child pornography as well as selected court cases that have ruled on their constitutionality or interpreted them. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26087/
Constitutionality of Proposals to Prohibit the Sale or Rental to Minors of Video Games with Violent or Sexual Content or "Strong Language"
It has been proposed that Congress prohibit the sale or rental to minors of video games that are rated “M” (mature) or “AO” (adults-only) by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. This board is a non-governmental entity established by the Interactive Digital Software Association, and its ratings currently have no legal effect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9144/
Constitutionality of Requiring Sexually Explicit Material on the Internet to be Under a Separate Domain Name
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9146/
Election Projections: First Amendment Issues
Media projections may be based both on exit polls and on information acquired as to actual ballot counts. The First Amendment would generally preclude Congress from prohibiting the media from interviewing voters after they exit the polls. It apparently would also preclude Congress from prohibiting the media from reporting the results of those polls. Congress, could, however, ban voter solicitation within a certain distance from a polling place, and might be able to include exit polling within such a ban. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1637/
Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes
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Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4050/
Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes
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Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes
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Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes
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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/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
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Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2241/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
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Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5752/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3917/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3916/
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/metacrs6543/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6542/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6621/
Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes
This report considers the constitutionality of federal tort reform legislation, such as the products liability and medical malpractice reform proposals that have been introduced for the last several Congresses. Tort law at present is almost exclusively state law rather than federal law, although, as noted in the appendix to this report, Congress has enacted a number of tort reform statutes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26106/
Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends
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Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8845/
Selected Bicentennial Celebrations Commemorating the 200th Anniversaries of the U.S. Constitution and of the U.S. Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8716/
Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29614/
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/
National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: Legal Background and Recent Amendments
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10850/
Victims' Rights Amendment in the 106th Congress: Overview of Suggestions to Amend the Constitution
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Victims' Rights Amendment: Proposals to Amend the United States Constitution in the 106th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1127/
Presidential Signing Statements: Constitutional and Institutional Implications
Presidential signing statements are official pronouncements issued by the President contemporaneously to the signing of a bill into law that, in addition to commenting on the law generally, have been used to forward the President's interpretation of the statutory language; to assert constitutional objections to the provisions contained therein; and, concordantly, to announce that the provisions of the law will be administered in a manner that comports with the administration's conception of the President's constitutional prerogatives. This report focuses on the use of signing statements by recent administrations, with particular emphasis on the Administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87318/
Presidential Signing Statements: Constitutional and Institutional Implications
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Ratification of Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs415/
Constitutional Conventions: Political and Legal Questions
This report discusses the applications that have been passed by 32 of the necessary 34 State legislatures to convene a convention to propose an amendment prohibiting abortion. Because this process for amending the Constitution has never been used, several unresolved legal and policy questions arise governing the convening and the authority of such a convention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9057/
The Americans with Disabilities Act: Eleventh Amendment Issues
This report provides a brief overview of the Eleventh Amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1147/
Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8957/
Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8958/
Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends
The Supreme Court has expressed an interest "that Congress be able to legislate against a background of clear interpretive rules, so that it may know the effect of the language it adopts." This report identifies and describes some of the more important rules and conventions of interpretation that the Court applies. Although this report focuses primarily on the Court's methodology in construing statutory text, the Court's approach to reliance on legislative history are also briefly described. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26119/
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1461/
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1459/
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