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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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
The European Union's Reform Process: The Lisbon Treaty

The European Union's Reform Process: The Lisbon Treaty

Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Description: 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.
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: February 8, 2011
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 112th Congress.
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.”
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: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Gun Control Laws: The Second Amendment and Other Constitutional Issues

Federal Gun Control Laws: The Second Amendment and Other Constitutional Issues

Date: February 1, 1995
Creator: Schrader, Dorothy
Description: This report examines the historical, legal, and constitutional arguments for and against an individual right to bear firearms under the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Those who favor federal gun control laws tend to assert that the Second Amendment has been correctly interpreted by the courts to confer only a collective right, which may be exercised through state militias. Those who oppose gun control laws tend to assert that the Second Amendment should be interpreted to grant an individual right to bear arms for lawful purposes, subject to appropriately minimal restrictions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes

Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes

Date: July 7, 2008
Creator: Cohen, Henry & Burrows, Vanessa K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes

Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes

Date: March 9, 2005
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes

Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes

Date: May 2, 2003
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department