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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority
This report provides an overview of federal and state public health laws as they relate to the quarantine and isolation of individuals and a discussion of constitutional issues that may be raised should individual liberties be restricted in a quarantine or isolation situation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462930/
Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?
This report focuses on enforcement of federal environmental pollution control requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA); the Clean Water Act (CWA); the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund); and other statutes for which EPA is the primary federal implementing agency.1 The report provides a brief synopsis of the statutory framework that serves as the basis for pollution control enforcement, including an overview of the key players responsible for correcting violations and maintaining compliance. Implementation and enforcement of pollution control laws are interdependent and carried out by a wide range of actors including federal, state, tribal, and local governments; the regulated entities themselves; the courts; interest groups; and the general public. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462002/
Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues
"This report surveys the various authorities governing immigration detainers, including the standard detainer form (Form I-247) sent by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to other law enforcement agencies. The report also discusses key legal issues raised by immigration detainers, including whether Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) detainer regulations and practices are beyond its statutory authority; whether states and localities are required to comply with immigration detainers; who has custody of aliens subject to detainers; and whether detainer practices violate aliens' constitutional rights. In considering these topics, it is important to note that Form I-247 and DHS's detainer practices have changed several times since 2010, and that decisions on the merits have not yet been issued in many cases challenging the use of detainers in conjunction with the Secure Communities program" (p. 6). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462021/
Drug Enforcement in the United States: History, Policy, and Trends
This report reviews federal domestic drug enforcement. First, it provides a history and background of drug enforcement in the United States including how drugs came under the control of federal justice authorities and how legislation and administrative actions changed domestic drug enforcement. It then provides a brief overview of drug enforcement in the United States and summarizes U.S. drug policy. Finally, the report presents trends in federal drug enforcement and concludes with a discussion of drug enforcement issues going forward. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463078/
Congressional Power to Create Federal Courts: A Legal Overview
This report provides an overview of this often difficult and misunderstood area of law, beginning with a discussion of the various types of federal tribunals. The report continues by noting the rationales for why Congress established the breadth of different courts that exist today and concludes with a discussion of the various factors and relevant issues that limit Congress's discretion in establishing federal courts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463358/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. It also discusses ways in which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463171/
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law. It also describes the laws, at both the state and federal levels, governing the development of offshore oil and gas and the litigation that has flowed from development under these legal regimes. Also included is an outline of recent changes to the authorities regulating offshore development, as well as a discussion of recent executive action and legislative proposals concerning offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462444/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: Demographics in Brief
This report discusses children coming to the United States who are not accompanied by parents or legal guardians and who lack proper immigration documents has raised complex and competing sets of humanitarian concerns and immigration control issues. This report focuses on the demographics of unaccompanied alien children while they are in removal proceedings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462514/
Energy Policy: 113th Congress Issues
This report discusses the energy policy in the United States that is focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463161/
The No Fly List: Procedural Due Process and Hurdles to Litigation
This report provides an overview of the operation of the government's watchlists, examine some of the legal issues implicated by challenges to the No Fly list, and describe recent case law on the matter. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462385/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462256/
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses the legislation in the 113th Congress regarding insurance regulation. Among the insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 113th Congress are the application of federal orderly liquidation authority to insurers (addressed in H.R. 605); the supervision of some insurers by the Federal Reserve (addressed in H.R. 2140, H.R. 4510, H.R. 5461, S. 2102, and S. 2270); and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (addressed in S. 534, S. 1926, S. 2244, H.R. 1155/H.R. 1064, and H.R. 4871). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462626/
U.S.-EU Cooperation on Ukraine and Russia
This report discusses the United States, and European Union policies with Russia in response to the crisis in Ukraine. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462586/
Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs
This report analyzes the special immigrant visa (SIV) classifications for Iraqis and Afghans within the context of both the larger Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) special immigrant category and selected other permanent admissions categories. It discusses the legislative changes to the individual Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant programs since their initial authorization, provides statistics on visa issuance, and considers challenges facing the programs today. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462255/
Casework in a Congressional Office: Background, Rules, Laws, and Resources
This report discusses House and Senate rules and guidelines, laws, and regulations affecting congressional casework, as well as the role of caseworkers. It also provides sample outlines and document templates for implementing and managing congressional casework. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462493/
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
This report describes the March 25 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462853/
Offices of Inspectors General and Law Enforcement Authority: In Brief
This report identifies the laws and regulations that vest certain offices of inspector general (OIGs) with law enforcement authority, which permits the use of guns and ammunition. This report also describes some of the requirements and expectations of OIGs that have law enforcement authority, and includes some reasons that OIGs have expressed a need for law enforcement authority. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462481/
Asylum and Gang Violence: Legal Overview
This report discusses the basis for asylum in International and U.S. Law. The recent increase in the number of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) apprehended at the border between Mexico and the United States has raised questions about the role that gang-related violence in Central America may play in determining whether such children are eligible for refugee status and asylum. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462856/
Congressional Participation in Article III Courts: Standing to Sue
This report seeks to provide an overview of Congress's ability to participate in litigation before Article III courts. The report is limited to a discussion of Congress's participation in litigation as either a plaintiff (e.g., the party initiating the suit alleging some sort of harm or violation of law) or as a third-party intervener (e.g., a party who is seeking to join litigation already initiated by another plaintiff). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462327/
A Primer on the Reviewability of Agency Delay and Enforcement Discretion
This report discusses the general legal principles applied in determining whether administrative delays are reviewable in court in these two different contexts and then address whether the procedures outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) are applicable to these delays. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462102/
The Take Care Clause and Executive Discretion in the Enforcement of Law
This report addresses the President's general obligation to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." The report then discusses the limited role the judicial branch has traditionally adopted in reviewing discretionary enforcement decisions, including the decision to initiate a criminal prosecution or an administrative enforcement action. The report concludes with a discussion of Congress's authority to restrict executive discretion in the enforcement of federal law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461965/
The Doctrine of Constitutional Avoidance: A Legal Overview
This report discusses select issues regarding judicial review, and offers some contemporary views on the Ashwander Doctrine, under which the Supreme Court avoids ruling decisively in cases that it deems able to be resolved outside of the court, non-constitutionally (Constitutional Avoidance). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462944/
Special Immigrant Juveniles: In Brief
This report provides a brief explanation of the statutory basis of special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) status and how it has evolved. It also presents statistics on the number of children who have applied for and received SIJ status since FY2005. The report concludes with a discussion of the applicability of SIJ status for unaccompanied alien children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462914/
Can Body Worn Cameras Serve as a Deterrent to Police Misconduct?
This report discusses various issues regarding body worn cameras (BWCs), including the potential merits, concerns, and financial costs of use. The report also briefly states a possible method for allotting federal funds to help law enforcement agencies purchase BWCs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462415/
Bills of Attainder: The Constitutional Implications of Congress Legislating Narrowly
This report discusses congressional bills of attainder, defined by the Supreme Court as "law[s] that legislatively determine guilt and inflict punishment upon an identifiable individual without provision of the protections of a judicial trial." The report specifically examines the two main criteria courts use to determine whether legislation is a bill of attainder: specificity and punishment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462919/
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses the recent development regarding the negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program. It provides background information on Iranian nuclear program and debates the November 24 Joint Plan of Action Elements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463077/
Securities Fraud Class Action Certification: Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.
This report discusses requirements for securities fraud class action certification. The report also specifically examines each of the decisions made in the Halliburton cases, which proceeded through two complete rounds in federal district court, court of appeals, and the Supreme Court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462069/
U.S.-EU Cooperation on Ukraine and Russia
This report examines the U.S. and EU reactions to the crisis in Ukraine, focusing on the EU's hesitation to issue severe sanctions on par with the U.S. prior to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The report discusses the EU's new, wider-ranging sanctions in the wake of MH17 and its implications on U.S.-EU relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462227/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461952/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462464/
Asylum Policies for Unaccompanied Children Compared with Expedited Removal Policies for Unauthorized Adults: In Brief
This report focuses on unaccompanied alien children as asylum seekers. To bring clarity to the unique policies toward unaccompanied children, this report compares their treatment to that of unauthorized adults and families with children in the specific contexts of asylum and expedited removal. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463463/
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462762/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report opens with an analysis of the data of the recent surge in UAC crossing the border. It then discusses current policy on the treatment, care, and custody of the population. The processing and treatment of UAC is detailed, with a discussion of each agency that is involved with the population. The report then discusses both Administrative and Congressional action to deal with the current crisis. As this issue is still emerging, the report concludes with a series of questions related to UAC that remain unanswered. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462766/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. The report also discusses ways which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462188/
Shipping U.S. Crude Oil by Water: Vessel Flag Requirements and Safety Issues
This report provides an introduction to new shipping routes, vessel types and capacities and maritime safety issues. The report discusses the Jones Act, recent U.S. shipbuilding activity, and current legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462901/
Unaccompanied Alien Children--Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses the questions regarding the number of children arriving at the United States southern border, their reasons for coming to the United States, and current and potential responses of the federal government and other entities to their arrival digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462400/
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on EPA regulatory activity during the Obama Administration to help address these issues. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at the Environmental Protection Agency since January 2009. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc333015/
EPA's Proposed Greenhouse Gas Regulations for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) proposal regarding greenhouse gas regulations. In addition to discussing details of the proposed rule, the report addresses a number of questions regarding the reasons for the proposal; the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the CAA; the EPA's previous experience using that authority; the steps the agency must take to finalize the proposed rule; and various other background questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332998/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332930/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: Potential Factors Contributing to Recent Immigration
This report begins by describing the recent surge in unaccompanied child apprehensions. It discusses several factors widely associated with out-migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The report then discusses three broad factors that may be attracting migrants to the United States: economic and educational opportunity, family reunification, and U.S. immigration policies. It concludes with caveats on the attribution of causes to this situation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332868/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc333007/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. It also discusses ways in which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332926/
Unaccompanied Alien Children--Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses the questions regarding the numbers of unaccompanied alien children involved, their reasons for coming to the United States, and current and potential responses of the federal government and other entities to their arrival. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332955/
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
This report discusses government advertising that can be controversial if it conflicts with citizens' views about the proper role of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332942/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report discusses the immigration problem regarding the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) arriving in the United States borders. The report discusses the scope of the problem, current policy challenges, and the processing and treatment of the UAC apprehended. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332897/
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332993/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report discusses the immigration problem regarding the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) arriving in the United States borders. The report discusses the scope of the problem, current policy challenges, and the processing and treatment of the UAC apprehended. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332874/
EPA's Proposed Greenhouse Gas Regulations for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) proposal regarding greenhouse gas regulations. In addition to discussing details of the proposed rule, the report addresses a number of questions regarding the reasons for the proposal; the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the CAA; the EPA's previous experience using that authority; the steps the agency must take to finalize the proposed rule; and various other background questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332959/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332969/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332908/
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