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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: his report examines federal law regarding obscenity and indecency. The First Amendment provides: “Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” In general, the First Amendment protects pornography, with this term being used to mean any erotic material. The Supreme Court, however, has held that the First Amendment does not protect two types of pornography: obscenity and child pornography. Consequently, they may be banned on the basis of their content, and federal law prohibits the mailing of obscenity, as well as its transport or receipt in interstate or foreign commerce.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
FY2017 Appropriations for the Department of Justice

FY2017 Appropriations for the Department of Justice

Date: June 9, 2016
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: This report discusses appropriations for the Department of Justice (DOJ) for fiscal year 2017. It includes an overview of the DOJ's accounts, broken down by department and program; an comparison of appropriations for fiscal years 2016 and 2017; and select legislative proposals.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
FBI Directorship: History and Congressional Action

FBI Directorship: History and Congressional Action

Date: June 7, 2011
Creator: Chu, Vivian S. & Hogue, Henry B.
Description: This report first provides some legislative history surrounding the enactment of the 1968 and 1976 amendments to the appointment of the FBI Director, as well as information on the nominees to the FBI Directorship since 1972. The report then discusses precedent for lengthening the tenure of an office and the constitutionality of extending the tenure of the Directorship for the current incumbent, and addresses whether it would be necessary for Mr. Mueller to be appointed a second time.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)

In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)

Date: December 27, 2013
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report summarizes the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and jurisdiction in cases against foreign defendants and analyzes the court of appeals decision. It also discusses legislative efforts to address these issues(S. 1535 and H.R. 3143).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Obstruction of Justice: An Overview of Some of the Federal Statutes That Prohibit Interference with Judicial, Executive, or Legislative Activities

Obstruction of Justice: An Overview of Some of the Federal Statutes That Prohibit Interference with Judicial, Executive, or Legislative Activities

Date: April 17, 2014
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report discusses obstruction of justice, which is is a federal crime. It describes specific kinds of obstruction, organized by type, and references various relevant laws that have provisions against obstruction.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Crime and Forfeiture

Crime and Forfeiture

Date: May 13, 2013
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report provides an overview of federal forfeiture law. It sketches the origins and general attributes of forfeiture, describes the distribution of the hundreds of millions of dollars it generates, and identifies some of the related constitutional issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief

Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief

Date: May 13, 2014
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: This report contains an overview of the Matching Grant Program for Law Enforcement Armor Vests (BPV program). It also provides a discussion of data on law enforcement agencies that require their officers to wear armor vests while on duty, research on why officers may choose to wear armor vests, research on the life cycle for armor vests, data on the use of body armor by law enforcement officers who were killed with a firearm, and research on the effectiveness of armor vests.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Date: January 16, 2014
Creator: Finklea, Kristin
Description: This report first provides a brief federal legislative history of identity theft laws. It analyzes selected trends in identity theft, including prevalent identity theft-related crimes, the federal agencies involved in combating identity theft, and the trends in identity theft complaints and prosecutions. The report also discusses the relationship between data breaches and identity theft as well as possible effects of the FTC's Identity Theft Red Flags Rule. It also examines possible issues for Congress to consider.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Date: May 27, 2010
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: This report first provides a brief federal legislative history of identity theft laws. It analyzes the current trends in identity theft, including prevalent identity theft-related crimes, the federal agencies involved in combating identity theft, and the trends in identity theft complaints and prosecutions. The report also discusses the relationship between data breaches and identity theft as well as possible effects of the FTC's Identity Theft Red Flags Rule, effective June 1, 2010. It also examines current legislation on identity theft and possible issues for the 111th Congress to consider.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Polygraph Use by the Department of Energy: Issues for Congress

Polygraph Use by the Department of Energy: Issues for Congress

Date: October 23, 2008
Creator: Cumming, Alfred
Description: This report examines how the Department of Energy's (DOE) polygraph testing program has evolved and reviews certain scientific findings with regard to the polygraph's scientific validity. Several issues include whether: DOE's new screening program is focused on an appropriate number of individuals occupying only the most sensitive positions; the program should be expanded in order to adequately safeguard certain classified information; further research into the polygraph's scientific validity is needed; there are possible alternatives to the polygraph; and whether DOE should continue polygraph screening.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Terrorist Watch List Screening and Background Checks for Firearms

Terrorist Watch List Screening and Background Checks for Firearms

Date: May 1, 2013
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Description: This report examines potential policy issues that could arise under the Terror Gap proposal. For context, a basic overview of the U.S. government's post-9/11 terrorist watchlist procedures is provided, as well as an analysis of the Terror Gap proposal, which has been reintroduced in the 113th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Domestic Terrorism Appears to Be Reemerging as a Priority at the Department of Justice

Domestic Terrorism Appears to Be Reemerging as a Priority at the Department of Justice

Date: August 15, 2014
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This document examines an apparent shift in priorities at the Department of Justice (DOJ) towards a renewed focus on domestic terrorism with the reestablishment of its Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which had been defunct for several years. The report considers why the shift in focus may be occurring and also briefly examines different types of domestic terror threats.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Prison Industries: Overview and Legislative History

Federal Prison Industries: Overview and Legislative History

Date: January 9, 2013
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: This report provides background on the Federal Prison Industries, Inc.'s (FPI's) operations and statutory authority; it does not address the related debates on inmate labor, criminal rehabilitation, or competitive versus noncompetitive federal government contracting.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)

In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)

Date: January 22, 2015
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report summarizes the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and jurisdiction in cases against foreign defendants and analyzes the court of appeals decision. It also discusses legislative efforts to address these issues(S. 1535 and H.R. 3143).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Crime and Forfeiture

Crime and Forfeiture

Date: January 22, 2015
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report provides an overview of federal forfeiture law. It sketches the origins and general attributes of forfeiture, describes the distribution of the hundreds of millions of dollars it generates, and identifies some of the related constitutional issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief

Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief

Date: January 13, 2015
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: This report contains an overview of the Matching Grant Program for Law Enforcement Armor Vests (BPV program). It also provides a discussion of data on law enforcement agencies that require their officers to wear armor vests while on duty, research on why officers may choose to wear armor vests, research on the life cycle for armor vests, data on the use of body armor by law enforcement officers who were killed with a firearm, and research on the effectiveness of armor vests.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Date: August 26, 2009
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: This report first provides a brief federal legislative history of identity theft laws. It analyzes the current trends in identity theft, including prevalent identity theft-related crimes, the federal agencies involved in combating identity theft, and the trends in identity theft complaints and prosecutions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The MS-13 and 18th Street Gangs: Emerging Transnational Gang Threats?

The MS-13 and 18th Street Gangs: Emerging Transnational Gang Threats?

Date: January 22, 2010
Creator: Franco, Celinda
Description: This report provides an overview of the MS-13 and M-18 gangs,5 examines how MS-13 and M-18 gangs are different from other gangs and organized crime groups, and discusses what constitutes a transnational gang. The report also explores whether MS-13 and M-18 gangs are transnational gangs, and discusses the various federal responses to these gangs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: This report first provides a brief federal legislative history of identity theft laws. It analyzes the current trends in identity theft, including prevalent identity theft-related crimes, the federal agencies involved in combating identity theft, and the trends in identity theft complaints and prosecutions. The report also discusses the relationship between data breaches and identity theft as well as possible effects of the FTC's Identity Theft Red Flags Rule, effective November 1, 2009.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Date: January 5, 2010
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: This report first provides a brief federal legislative history of identity theft laws. It analyzes the current trends in identity theft, including prevalent identity theft-related crimes, the federal agencies involved in combating identity theft, and the trends in identity theft complaints and prosecutions. The report also discusses the relationship between data breaches and identity theft as well as possible effects of the FTC's Identity Theft Red Flags Rule, effective June 1, 2010.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cybercrime: Conceptual Issues for Congress and U.S. Law Enforcement

Cybercrime: Conceptual Issues for Congress and U.S. Law Enforcement

Date: January 15, 2015
Creator: Finklea, Kristin & Theohary, Catherine A.
Description: This report discusses the concept of cybercrime and related cyber threats such as cyber espionage and cyber warfare, and questions whether--and under what circumstances--clear distinctions between the various threats should be delineated. It also outlines how current federal strategies may address cybercrime, including issues surrounding the measurement and tracking of cybercrime.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Sex Trafficking: Proposals in the 114th Congress to Amend Federal Criminal Law

Sex Trafficking: Proposals in the 114th Congress to Amend Federal Criminal Law

Date: April 29, 2015
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report discusses proposed legislation that would amend federal substantive law in three areas: commercial sex trafficking (18 U.S.C. 1591); the Mann Act, which outlaws transportation and travel for unlawful sexual purposes; and federal tax crimes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Enron: A Select Chronology of Congressional, Corporate, and Government Activities

Enron: A Select Chronology of Congressional, Corporate, and Government Activities

Date: April 9, 2002
Creator: Anderson, J. Michael
Description: This report presents basic background information on the collapse of the Enron Corporation, identifying public policy issues in financial market oversight. This report briefly summarizes some federal laws carrying criminal penalties which may be implicated in the events surrounding the collapse of the Enron Corp. This report compares the auditing and accounting reform measures passed by the House (H.R. 3763) and reported by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. This report compares the major provisions of three auditor and accounting reform proposals: H.R. 3763, S. 2673, and a rule proposed on June 20, 2002, by the SEC that would create a new auditor oversight board by using the SEC’s existing authority to regulate corporate accounting. The report focuses on Section 404(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal statute that regulates employer-sponsored pension plans. Section 404(a) is considered the “touchstone for understanding the scope and object of an ERISA fiduciary’s duties.”
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Enron: A Select Chronology of Congressional, Corporate, and Government Activities

Enron: A Select Chronology of Congressional, Corporate, and Government Activities

Date: July 12, 2002
Creator: Anderson, J. Michael
Description: This report presents basic background information on the collapse of the Enron Corporation, identifying public policy issues in financial market oversight. This report briefly summarizes some federal laws carrying criminal penalties which may be implicated in the events surrounding the collapse of the Enron Corp. This report compares the auditing and accounting reform measures passed by the House (H.R. 3763) and reported by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. This report compares the major provisions of three auditor and accounting reform proposals: H.R. 3763, S. 2673, and a rule proposed on June 20, 2002, by the SEC that would create a new auditor oversight board by using the SEC’s existing authority to regulate corporate accounting. The report focuses on Section 404(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal statute that regulates employer-sponsored pension plans. Section 404(a) is considered the “touchstone for understanding the scope and object of an ERISA fiduciary’s duties.”
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department