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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court
This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a chart comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505551/
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
This report discusses issues for Congress in regards to the potential reform of the nation's immigration system. The detention of noncitizens in the United States will likely be an issue. Under the law, there is broad authority to detain aliens while awaiting a determination of whether the noncitizen should be removed from the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505430/
Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings
This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503404/
Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court
This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a table comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627209/
Department of Homeland Security Assistance to States and Localities: A Summary and Issues for the 111th Congress
This report summarizes several emergency management and homeland security programs, and identifies and analyzes potential issues for the 111th Congress. These issues include the purpose and number of assistance programs; the evaluation of the use of grant funding; the determination of eligible grant recipients; the programs' funding amounts; and the programs; funding distribution methodologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627220/
Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI) and Related Funding Programs: FY2006 Assistance
This report discusses the funds and material support the U.S. has contributed to help Colombia and the Andean region fight drug trafficking since the development of Plan Colombia in 1999. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8275/
Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI) and Related Funding Programs: FY2007 Assistance
This report discusses the funds and material support the U.S. has contributed to help Colombia and the Andean region fight drug trafficking since the development of Plan Colombia in 1999. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8778/
Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI) and Related Funding Programs: FY2005 Assistance
This report discusses the funds and material support the U.S. has contributed to help Colombia and the Andean region fight drug trafficking since the development of Plan Colombia in 1999. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8191/
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
Between May 2009 and August 2010, arrests were made for 19 "homegrown," jihadist-inspired terrorist plots by American citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. The apparent spike in such activity after May 2009 suggests that at least some Americans - even if a tiny minority - continue to be susceptible to ideologies supporting a violent form of jihad. This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. This report also provides official definitions for terms such as "homegrown," "jihadist," and "violent jihadist." The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism, describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31371/
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83950/
Bioterrorism: Legislation to Improve Public Health Preparedness and Response Capacity
This report shows that while lawmakers work towards final passage of new authorizing legislation, Congress has appropriated more than $3 billion to the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase bioterrorism preparedness at the federal, state, and local levels. HHS anti-bioterrorism funding was included in the FY2002 Labor-HHSEducation appropriations bill and in the $20 billion emergency spending package that was attached to the FY2002 Defense appropriations bill. Until the new authorizing legislation is enacted, HHS is dispersing the funds according to existing authorities and the broad parameters set out in the appropriations bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7017/
Bioterrorism: Legislation to Improve Public Health Preparedness and Response Capacity
While lawmakers work towards final passage of new authorizing legislation, Congress has appropriated $3 billion to the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) for FY2002 to increase bio-terrorism preparedness at the federal, state, and local levels. HHS anti bio-terrorism funding was included in theFY2002Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (P.L. 107-116, H.R. 3061) and in the $20 billion emergency spending package (P.L. 107- 117, H.R. 3338). HHS is dispersing the funds according to existing authorities and the broad spending parameters set out in the appropriations bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7018/
Closing the Guantanamo Detention Center: Legal Issues
This report provides an overview of major legal issues that are likely to arise as a result of executive and legislative action to close the Guantanamo detention facility. It discusses legal issues related to the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees, the continued detention of such persons in the United States, and the possible removal of persons brought to the United States. It considers selected constitutional issues that may arise in the criminal prosecution of detainees. Issues discussed include detainees’ right to a speedy trial, the prohibition against prosecution under ex post facto laws, and limitations upon the admissibility of hearsay and secret evidence in criminal cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99006/
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/
Child Pornography Produced Without an Actual Child: Constitutionality of 108th Congress Legislation
This report analyzes the First Amendment issues raised by S. 151, 108th Congress, in the versions passed by the Senate and the House. The Senate passed the version reported by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary (S.Rept. 108-2). The House version began as H.R. 1161, which, except for its section 10, was adopted as an amendment (Title V) to H.R. 1104, which the House passed as S. 151, the Child Abduction Prevention Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3902/
Child Pornography Produced Without an Actual Child: Constitutionality of 108th Congress Legislation
This report analyzes S. 151, 108th Congress, as reported by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary (S.Rept. 108-2) and passed by the Senate, and considers whether it would violate freedom of speech. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3901/
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried and punished according to the laws on the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under some limited circumstances. The federal exceptions to the general rule usually involve crimes like drug trafficking, terrorism, or crimes committed aboard a ship or airplane. State prosecution for overseas misconduct is limited almost exclusively to multijurisdictional crimes, i.e., crimes where some elements of the offense are committed within the state and others are committed abroad. The Constitution, Congress, and state law define the circumstances under which American criminal law may be used against crimes occurring, in whole or in part, outside the United States digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26037/
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83803/
Federal Crime Control Issues in the 111th Congress
This report aggregates various issues surrounding federal crime control into five broad themes: violent crime control, combating fraud and theft, drug control, sentencing reform, and state and local justice assistance. Within these themes, the report examines more specific issues that confronted the 111th Congress. Issues discussed under the umbrella of violent crime control include hate crimes, gangs, and gun control. Issues related to the federal government's efforts to combat fraud and theft include identity theft and organized retail crime. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103065/
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29483/
Enforcing Immigration Law: The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement
This report examines the role of state and local law enforcement in enforcing immigration law. The discussion is limited to the role of state and local law enforcement in the investigation, arrest, and detention of all immigration violators. The report does not discuss the prosecution, adjudication, or removal of aliens who violate the law. The report opens with a brief discussion of the types of immigration interior enforcement activities that the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) pursued and the current immigration activities that are now the focus of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A discussion of the legal authority that permits state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration law under certain circumstances follows. Current administrative efforts to involve state and local law enforcement in enforcing immigration law as well as selected issues are discussed. The report concludes with a discussion of the pros and cons of such a policy and an analysis of policy options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10423/
Enforcing Immigration Law: The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement
This report examines the role of state and local law enforcement in enforcing immigration law. The discussion is limited to the role of state and local law enforcement in the investigation, arrest, and detention of all immigration violators. The report does not discuss the prosecution, adjudication, or removal of aliens who violate the law. The report opens with a brief discussion of the types of immigration interior enforcement activities that the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) pursued and the current immigration activities that are now the focus of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A discussion of the legal authority that permits state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration law under certain circumstances follows. Current administrative efforts to involve state and local law enforcement in enforcing immigration law as well as selected issues are discussed. The report concludes with a discussion of the pros and cons of such a policy and an analysis of policy options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9729/
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan: Effects and Countermeasures
Since October 2001, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs, or roadside bombs) have been responsible for many of the more than 2,000 combat deaths in Iraq, and 178 combat deaths in Afghanistan. IEDs are hidden behind signs and guardrails, under roadside debris, or inside animal carcasses, and encounters with these bombs are becoming more numerous and deadly in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to counter IEDs have proven only marginally effective, and U.S. forces continue to be exposed to the threat at military checkpoints, or whenever on patrol. IEDs are increasingly being used in Afghanistan, and DOD reportedly is concerned that they might eventually be more widely used by other insurgents and terrorists worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10213/
Gun Control: Statutory Disclosure Limitations on ATF Firearms Trace Data and Multiple Handgun Sales Reports
This report briefly describes a provision known as the "Tiahrt" amendment, a rider on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) appropriations that prohibits ATF from disclosing firearm trace data and multiple handgun sales reports data for any purpose other than supporting a criminal investigatoin or agency licensing proceeding. The Tiahrt amendment is so called because its sponsor is Representative Todd Tiahrt. A coalition of 210 city mayors favors the repeal of this rider, but there is much opposition to that motion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26332/
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
As Congress considers addressing some of the problems in the nation's immigration system, the detention of noncitizens in the United States may be an issue as Congress may choose to reevaluate detention priorities (i.e., who should be detained) and resources. There are many policy issues surrounding detention of aliens. The Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) increased the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention, and raised concerns about the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Additionally, as DHS increases its ability to identify aliens who are subject to removal from local jails in more remote locations, the nationwide allocation of detention space may become an issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84040/
Immigration: S Visas for Criminal and Terrorist Informants
In response to the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Congress passed legislation making permanent a provision that allows aliens with critical information on criminal or terrorist organizations to come into the United States to provide information to law enforcement officials. The law (S. 1424, and then P.L. 107-45) amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide permanent authority for the administration of the "S" visa, which was scheduled to expire on September 13, 2001. On November 29, 2001, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the "Responsible Cooperators Program" to reach out to persons who may be eligible for the S visa. Up to 200 criminal informants and 50 terrorist informants may be admitted annually. Since FY2005, more than 500 informants and their accompanying family members have entered on S visas. No terrorist informants have been admitted into the U.S. since 1996. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10275/
Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings
This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99017/
Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings
This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85382/
Lawsuits Against State Supporters of Terrorism: An Overview
A 1996 amendment to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) enables American victims of international terrorist acts supported by certain States designated by the State Department as supporters of terrorism -- Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and previously Iraq and Libya -- to bring suit in U.S. courts to seek monetary damages. Despite congressional efforts to make blocked (of "frozen) assets of such States available for attachment by judgment creditors in such cases, plaintiffs encountered difficulties in enforcing the awards. This report provides an overview of these issues and relevant legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10631/
Terrorism at Home and Abroad: Applicable Federal and State Criminal Laws
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The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2003: “Separate Offense” Provisions and Penalties
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Protecting Our Perimeter: “Border Searches” under the Fourth Amendment
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Terrorism at Home: A Quick Look at Applicable Federal and State Criminal Laws
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6993/
Terrorism Abroad: A Quick Look at Applicable Federal and State Laws
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Privacy: An Overview of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping
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The SAFE Acts of 2005: H.R. 1526 and S. 737--A Sketch
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7349/
Homeland Security: 9/11 Victim Relief Funds
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Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2005
This report provides background information on each defense-related environmental program, discusses key funding issues, and examines relevant provisions in authorization legislation and appropriations for FY2005. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7849/
Islamist Extremism in Europe
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Security and Freedom Ensured Act (SAFE Act)(H.R. 1526) and Security and Freedom Enhancement Act (SAFE Act)(S. 737): Section by Section Analysis
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The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
This report details the total cost of counterterrorism operations in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) since the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. This report also includes descriptions of relevant budgetary legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9499/
The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
This report details the total cost of counterterrorism operations in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) since the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. This report also includes descriptions of relevant budgetary legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9500/
The Domestic Terrorist Threat: Background and Issues for Congress
In the last decade, domestic terrorists-people who commit crimes within the homeland and draw inspiration from U.S.-based extremist ideologies and movements-have killed American citizens and damaged property across the country. Not all of these criminals have been prosecuted under terrorism statutes. This report discusses domestic terrorism's significance to policymakers per five topics: level of activity, use of nontraditional tactics, exploitation of the internet, decentralized nature of the threat, and prison radicalization. The report also discusses three areas that Congress may consider the federal role of combating such activities: the issue of definitions, adequacy of domestic terrorism intelligence collection efforts, and the value of community outreach driven efforts to quell terrorism related radicalization in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85433/
Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses
This report first explores the potential uses of drones in the domestic sphere by federal, state, and local governments. It then surveys current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, including cases surrounding privacy in the home, privacy in public spaces, location tracking, manned aerial surveillance, and those involving the national border. Next, it considers how existing jurisprudence may inform current and proposed drone uses. It then describes the various legislative measures introduced in the 112th Congress to address the legal and policy issues surrounding drones and, finally, briefly identifies several alternative approaches that may constrain the potential scope of drone surveillance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122251/
Department of Homeland Security Assistance to States and Localities: A Summary and Issues for the 111th Congress
This report summarizes several emergency management and homeland security programs, and identifies and analyzes potential issues for the 111th Congress. These issues include (1) the purpose and number of assistance programs; (2) the evaluation of the use of grant funding; (3) the determination of eligible grant recipients; (4) the programs' funding amounts; and (5) the programs; funding distribution methodologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26137/
DNA Databanking: Selected Fourth Amendment Issues and Analysis
This report looks at how the practice of DNA database programs, which have been looked at favorably by Congress, are in possible violation of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. It looks at how the databases' legality has currently been holding up in court, as well as how new advances and revelations in the science of forensic analysis and databanking may have potentially significant legal implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93877/
The Department of Defense Rules for Military Commissions: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under M.C.O. No. 1 to general military courts-martial conducted under the UCMJ. The report notes some of the criticism directed at the President’s M.O., and explains how those concerns are addressed by the military commission orders and instructions. The report provides two charts to compare the regulations issued by the Department of Defense and standard procedures for general courts-martial under the Manual for Courts-Martial. The second chart, which compares procedural safeguards incorporated in the regulations with established procedures in courts martial, follows the same order and format used in CRS Report RL31262, Selected Procedural Safeguards in Federal, Military, and International Courts, in order to facilitate comparison with safeguards provided in federal court and the International Criminal Court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9344/
The Department of Defense Rules for Military Commissions: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under M.C.O. No. 1 to general military courts-martial conducted under the UCMJ. The report notes some of the criticism directed at the President’s M.O., and explains how those concerns are addressed by the military commission orders and instructions. The report provides two charts to compare the regulations issued by the Department of Defense and standard procedures for general courts-martial under the Manual for Courts-Martial. The second chart, which compares procedural safeguards incorporated in the regulations with established procedures in courts martial, follows the same order and format used in CRS Report RL31262, Selected Procedural Safeguards in Federal, Military, and International Courts, in order to facilitate comparison with safeguards provided in federal court and the International Criminal Court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9302/
The Department of Defense Rules for Military Commissions: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under M.C.O. No. 1 to general military courts-martial conducted under the UCMJ. The report notes some of the criticism directed at the President’s M.O., and explains how those concerns are addressed by the military commission orders and instructions. The report provides two charts to compare the regulations issued by the Department of Defense and standard procedures for general courts-martial under the Manual for Courts-Martial. The second chart, which compares procedural safeguards incorporated in the regulations with established procedures in courts martial, follows the same order and format used in CRS Report RL31262, Selected Procedural Safeguards in Federal, Military, and International Courts, in order to facilitate comparison with safeguards provided in federal court and the International Criminal Court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9297/
The Brady Handgun Control Act: Constitutional Issues
The Brady Handgun Control Act established a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases, during which local law enforcement can make reasonable efforts to conduct background checks in available records and block and sales to convicted felons and other disqualified persons. This report reviews the background of federal gun control legislation, analyzes the conflict in the courts over the constitutionality under the Tenth Amendment of the duties placed on local law enforcement, and considers the implications of the decisions for Brady Act enforcement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26060/