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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2010
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Pay Equity Legislation

Pay Equity Legislation

Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Feder, Jody & Levine, Linda
Description: This report begins by showing the trend in the male-female wage gap and by examining the explanations that have been offered for its enduring presence. It next discusses the major laws directed at eliminating sex-based wage discrimination as well as relevant federal court cases. The report closes with a description of pay equity legislation that has been considered by Congress in recent years, including bills introduced in the 111th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Piracy: A Legal Definition

Piracy: A Legal Definition

Date: October 19, 2010
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Description: Pirate attacks in the waters off the Horn of Africa, including those on U.S.-flagged vessels, have brought continued U.S. and international attention to the long-standing problem of piracy in the region. A recent development in one of the piracy trials in Norfolk, VA, has highlighted a potential limitation in the definition of piracy under the United States Code. This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights a recent federal district court ruling that the offense of piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651 requires a robbery at sea.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Date: April 21, 2010
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses comprehensive food safety bills that are progressing in the 111th Congress and could affect farmers and ranchers. Interest in on-farm practices was renewed after more than 1,300 persons in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada were found to be infected with the same unusual strain of bacteria (Salmonella Saintpaul) in April-July 2008.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Current Legal Status of the FCC’s Media Ownership Rules

Current Legal Status of the FCC’s Media Ownership Rules

Date: August 23, 2010
Creator: Ruane, Kathleen A.
Description: This report discusses the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) media ownership regulations, which place limits on the number of broadcast radio and television outlets one owner can possess in a given market and place cross-ownership restrictions on these outlets and on the cross-ownership of broadcast properties and newspapers.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA): Liability of Responsible Parties

Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA): Liability of Responsible Parties

Date: June 2, 2010
Creator: Nichols, James E.
Description: The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) establishes a framework that addresses the liability of responsible parties in connection with the discharge of oil into the navigable waters of the United States, adjoining shorelines, or the exclusive economic zone. Among other provisions, OPA limits certain liabilities of a responsible party in connection with discharges of oil into such areas. This report addresses liability under OPA for removal costs and damages, and the basic procedure for recovering removal costs and damages from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in the event that the responsible party fails to settle such claims.
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Spectrum Policy: Public Safety and Wireless Communications Interference

Spectrum Policy: Public Safety and Wireless Communications Interference

Date: August 25, 2010
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: This report discusses the rebanding plan announced by the Federal Communications Commission in 2004 to consolidate public safety frequencies and those used by some other operators, such as utilities. The plan was announce in an attempt to eliminate interference caused by the close proximity and interleaving of commercial and public safety channels.
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Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues

Date: September 15, 2010
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: This report provides an overview and analysis of issues Congress might choose to consider when taking up legislation to reauthorize the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
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Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Date: August 16, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20, 2010, Congress has given much attention to the compensatory liability provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and, to a lesser extent, those of the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. However, federal laws possibly relevant to the oil spill also impose civil and criminal money penalties, which may reach dollar amounts in connection with the Gulf spill greater than those for compensatory liability. This report summarizes selected federal civil and criminal penalty provisions that may be found violated in connection with the Gulf spill and related worker fatalities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Date: March 26, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
An Overview of Recent U.S. Supreme Court Jurisprudence in Patent Law

An Overview of Recent U.S. Supreme Court Jurisprudence in Patent Law

Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: This report provides a brief summary of the Supreme Court's patent law jurisprudence in the following nine cases that have been decided since 2005: Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Unitherm Food Systems v. Swift-Eckrich, Illinois Tool Works v. Independent Ink, eBay v. MercExchange, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings v. Metabolite Labs., MedImmune v. Genentech, KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., Microsoft v. AT&T, Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., and Bilski v. Kappos.
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Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Date: August 13, 2010
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Description: The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 farm bill) created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This report discusses the two main purposes of BCAP, which are (1) to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas, and (2) to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility.
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The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

Date: June 30, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Description: This report briefly discusses the permissible proprietary trading activities of commercial banks and their subsidiaries under current law. It then analyzes the Volcker Rule proposals under the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills and under the Conference Report, which would limit the ability of commercial banking institutions and their affiliated companies and subsidiaries to engage in trading unrelated to customer needs and investing in and sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Date: December 15, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. Permit and enforcement provisions of the law are often referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act. The basic provisions of the act have remained virtually unchanged since 1972, when it was enacted to establish a comprehensive waste management system to regulate disposal or dumping of all materials into marine waters that are within U.S. jurisdiction, although a number of new authorities have been added. This report presents a summary of the law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Tax Credit Bonds: Overview and Analysis

Tax Credit Bonds: Overview and Analysis

Date: July 29, 2010
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Description: Almost all state and local governments sell bonds to finance public projects and certain qualified private activities. Most of the bonds issued are tax-exempt bonds because the interest payments are not included in the bondholder's (purchaser's) federal taxable income. In contrast, Tax Credit Bonds (TCBs) are a type of bond that offers the holder a federal tax credit instead of interest. This report explains the tax credit mechanism and describes the market for the bonds.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Date: December 16, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill that began on April 20, 2010 lead Congress to give attention to the compensatory liability provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and, to a lesser extent, those of the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. However, federal laws possibly relevant to the oil spill also impose civil and criminal money penalties, which may reach dollar amounts in connection with the Gulf spill greater than those for compensatory liability. This report summarizes selected federal civil and criminal penalty provisions that may be found violated in connection with the Gulf spill and related worker fatalities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law

Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law

Date: November 30, 2010
Creator: Rennack, Dianne E.
Description: This report offers a listing and brief description of legal provisions that require or authorize the imposition of some form of economic sanction against countries, companies, persons, or entities that violate U.S. nonproliferation norms. For each provision, information is included on what triggers the imposition of sanctions, their duration, what authority the President has to delay or abstain from imposing sanctions, and what authority the President has to waive the imposition of sanctions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development

Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development

Date: June 15, 2010
Creator: Hagerty, Curry L.
Description: This report discusses moratoria measures for the outer continental shelf (OCS) which establish bans or restrictions on oil and gas exploration and development in federal ocean areas. It includes a background of offshore oil and gas development, the sources of U.S. moratorium policy, the background of ocean governance, U.S. moratoria in international areas, and related issues for congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion

Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion

Date: June 4, 2010
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: The first section of this report reviews what countries might be considered tax havens, including a discussion of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) initiatives and lists. The next two sections discuss, in turn, the corporate profit-shifting mechanisms and evidence on the existence and magnitude of profit shifting activity. The following two sections provide the same analysis for individual tax evasion. The report concludes with overviews of alternative policy options and a summary of specific legislative proposals.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The U.S. Postal Service's Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress

The U.S. Postal Service's Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: July 29, 2010
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Description: This report provides an overview of the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS's) financial condition, recent legislation to alleviate the USPS's financial challenges, and possible issues for the 111th Congress. It also addresses current legislation that aims to improve the USPS's financial condition--H.R. 22, S. 1507, and H.R. 5746.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Senate and House Bills Compared with Current Law

Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Senate and House Bills Compared with Current Law

Date: August 12, 2010
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: On April 15, 2010, Senator Lautenberg introduced legislation (S. 3209) to amend the core provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title I. Representatives Waxman and Rush introduced comprehensive legislation to amend TSCA (H.R. 5820) on July 22, 2010. This report compares key provisions of S. 3209, as introduced, H.R. 5820, as introduced, and current law (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The 2010 Oil Spill: Natural Resource Damage Assessment Under the Oil Pollution Act

The 2010 Oil Spill: Natural Resource Damage Assessment Under the Oil Pollution Act

Date: September 8, 2010
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Description: The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill leaked an estimated 4.1 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, damaging the waters, shores, and marshes, and the fish and wildlife that live there. When resources in the public trust are harmed by contamination, federal, state, foreign, and tribal governments may seek compensation for damage to natural resources under certain laws. This is done in two steps: first, by assessing the harm; then, by determining how and what restoration will take place. Compensation for natural resource damage is intended to restore the natural resources to their condition before the damage and to compensate the public for the lost use of those resources. This report discusses legislation that provides a framework for assessing and mitigating the damage caused by such spills.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

Date: June 22, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Description: This report briefly discusses the permissible proprietary trading activities of commercial banks and their subsidiaries under current law. It then analyzes the Volcker Rule proposals under both the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
From Solicitor General to Supreme Court Nominee: Responsibilities, History, and the Nomination of Elena Kagan

From Solicitor General to Supreme Court Nominee: Responsibilities, History, and the Nomination of Elena Kagan

Date: June 23, 2010
Creator: Navarro Smelcer, Susan & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Description: This report examines both the office of the Solicitor General and the Justices who held that position before their elevation to the Court. After examining the office of the Solicitor General and its success before the Court, the report describes the professional careers of the four Justices who served as Solicitor General before joining the Court: William Howard Taft, Stanley Reed, Robert Jackson, and Thurgood Marshall. The final section of the report examines the career of Elena Kagan, noting in particular her service as Solicitor General.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department