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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government

Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government

Date: March 14, 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
Charitable Choice: Legal and Constitutional Issues

Charitable Choice: Legal and Constitutional Issues

Date: January 27, 2006
Creator: Welborn, Angie A
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Constitutionality of Proposals to Prohibit the Sale or Rental to Minors of Video Games with Violent or Sexual Content or "Strong Language"

Constitutionality of Proposals to Prohibit the Sale or Rental to Minors of Video Games with Violent or Sexual Content or "Strong Language"

Date: January 18, 2006
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Excited Utterances, "Testimonial" Statements, and the Confrontation Clause

Excited Utterances, "Testimonial" Statements, and the Confrontation Clause

Date: December 14, 2005
Creator: Yeh, Brian T
Description: 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.”
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The European Union's Constitution

The European Union's Constitution

Date: July 11, 2005
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis

Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis

Date: June 21, 2005
Creator: Vina, Stephen R
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The European Union's "Constitution"

The European Union's "Constitution"

Date: June 10, 2005
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Description: 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.
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: May 24, 2005
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Date: May 19, 2005
Creator: Luckey, John R
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department