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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment
Many Members of Congress see continued tension between "free speech" decisions of the Supreme Court, which protect flag desecration as expressive conduct under the First Amendment, and the symbolic importance of the United States flag. Consequently, every Congress that has convened since those decisions were issued has considered proposals that would permit punishment of those who engage in flag desecration. This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context of punishing expressive conduct. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10525/
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendments
This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9725/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment, i.e., 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795658/
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/
Line Item Veto: A Constitutional Analysis of Recent Proposals
This report discusses the Legislative Line Item Veto and its constitutional issues and the President’s rescission proposals must be enacted by both Houses and signed into law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10838/
Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9267/
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/
Charitable Choice: Legal and Constitutional Issues
This report provides analysis of a number of factual, civil rights, and constitutional questions that have been raised regarding charitable choice in general. The analysis is generally focused on those provisions enacted as part of the 1996 welfare reform law. More recent charitable choice rules may give rise to the same or similar concerns. Primarily, this report focuses on civil rights concerns that have arisen in the context of charitable choice and First Amendment issues, as well as recent legal developments related to charitable choice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8340/
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/
Excited Utterances, "Testimonial" Statements, and the Confrontation Clause
The United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument this term in appeals from two state supreme court cases, Hammon v. Indiana and Davis v. Washington, concerning the admissibility of “excited utterance” statements made by non-testifying witnesses at criminal trials. In the landmark Crawford v. Washington case in 2004, the Court held that the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause forbids hearsay “testimonial” evidence from being introduced against the accused unless the witness is unavailable to testify and the defendant has had a prior opportunity to crossexamine the witness. However, the Crawford Court declined to provide a comprehensive definition of “testimonial,” leaving such task “for another day.” digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8256/
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/
Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis
This report begins with a brief introduction to check-off programs and then describes many of the First Amendment principles that have been discussed in checkoff cases. Next is an analysis of the first two challenges that reached the Supreme Court, as well as a brief discussion of subsequent lower court decisions. This report concludes with a discussion of Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association and its possible implications for check-off programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9116/
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/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6621/
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6851/
Protecting Our Perimeter: “Border Searches” under the Fourth Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7512/
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/
Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6852/
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/
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money
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. The general intent of BCRA, (effective November 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6215/
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment
This report gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. A second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court -- Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman -- that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795684/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6542/
Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5765/
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5852/
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5851/
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment
This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5756/
The Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence: A Guide to Obtaining Copies
This report identifies ways to locate the texts of the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence in various formats, from sources such as the U.S. Government Printing Office, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Historical Documents Company, the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and the Law Library of Congress. It also lists Internet addresses where applicable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824608/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6543/
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5850/
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5849/
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5848/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .” This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally. It restricts government more in that it applies not only to Congress, but to all branches of the federal government, and to all branches of state and local government. It restricts government less in that it provides no protection to some types of speech and only limited protection to others. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5752/
Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4026/
Federalism, State Sovereignty and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5387/
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4389/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .” This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally. It restricts government more in that it applies not only to Congress, but to all branches of the federal government, and to all branches of state and local government. It restricts government less in that it provides no protection to some types of speech and only limited protection to others. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3917/
A Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment: Issues and Options Concerning a Super-Majority Requirement
Proposals to limit the federal government’s authority to raise taxes have been made several times in recent years. Most frequently, these proposals call for limits on Congress’s ability to pass revenue measures. Typically, limitation proposals would allow increases in tax revenues only under one of two circumstances. First, tax revenues could increase under existing tax laws as a result of economic upturns. Alternatively, they could increase because of a new law, but only if it were passed by a super-majority (typically two-thirds or three-fifths). Questions about how such proposals might be applied in practice have not been clearly answered. Congress has previously considered such proposals in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. In each case the proposal has failed to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary for passage. Most recently, the House considered H.J.Res. 96 on June 12, 2002. The measure failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds, 227-178. This report will be updated to reflect any further legislative actions on such proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5394/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .” This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally. It restricts government more in that it applies not only to Congress, but to all branches of the federal government, and to all branches of state and local government. It restricts government less in that it provides no protection to some types of speech and only limited protection to others. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3916/
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4388/
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment
This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3934/
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment
This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3933/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .” This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally. It restricts government more in that it applies not only to Congress, but to all branches of the federal government, and to all branches of state and local government. It restricts government less in that it provides no protection to some types of speech and only limited protection to others. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3915/
Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4050/
Super-Majority Voting Requirement for Tax Increases: An Overview of Proposals for a Constitutional Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5393/
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4387/
Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4049/
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4386/