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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2010
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Water Infrastructure Projects Designated in EPA Appropriations: Trends and Policy Implications

Water Infrastructure Projects Designated in EPA Appropriations: Trends and Policy Implications

Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses appropriations for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water infrastructure programs, focusing on congressional special project designations in the account that funds these programs. While some Members of Congress, interest groups, and Administration officials are critical of these types of congressional actions, there is little indication that the practice will cease. Information on the programmatic history of EPA involvement in assisting wastewater treatment and drinking water projects also is provided in two appendixes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
State Efforts to Deter Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Analysis of Arizona's S.B. 1070

State Efforts to Deter Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Analysis of Arizona's S.B. 1070

Date: September 14, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.; Garcia, Michael John & Eig, Larry M.
Description: On April 23, 2010, Arizona enacted S.B. 1070, which is designed to discourage and deter the entry or presence of aliens who lack lawful status under federal immigration law. This report discusses this piece of legislation and some of the notable preemption issues raised by its provisions. Where relevant, it examines the district court's ruling that the federal government is likely to succeed on the merits of its arguments that certain sections of S.B. 1070 are preempted by federal law. It also discusses other preemption issues potentially raised by S.B. 1070 or similar legislation, including some issues that were not expressly addressed by the district court in its preliminary ruling.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation

Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation

Date: October 27, 2010
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform have urged the President and Congress to pursue reform legislation. While legislative action on comprehensive reform does not appear likely during the remainder of the 111th Congress, there may be an effort to enact a measure, commonly referred to as the "DREAM Act," to enable certain unauthorized alien students to legalize their status. This report discusses the DREAM act and related issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-South Korea Beef Dispute: Issues and Status

U.S.-South Korea Beef Dispute: Issues and Status

Date: September 23, 2010
Creator: Jurenas, Remy & Manyin, Mark E.
Description: This report describes the beef provisions in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and the separate bilateral protocols that the United States has negotiated in order to secure the lifting of South Korea's ban on U.S. beef imports, imposed after the discovery of mad cow disease in late 2003. It also summarizes U.S. beef export developments to this key market before and after the ban and since these protocols took effect; and lays out the outstanding issues on U.S. beef access that will likely need to be resolved to facilitate congressional consideration of the KORUS FTA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Robo-Signing" and Other Alleged Documentation Problems in Judicial and Nonjudicial Foreclosure Processes

"Robo-Signing" and Other Alleged Documentation Problems in Judicial and Nonjudicial Foreclosure Processes

Date: November 15, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Description: Recent depositions involving major servicers, including GMAC Mortgage, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, have raised concerns about "robo-signing" -- the practice of having a small number of individuals sign a large number of affidavits and other legal documents submitted to courts and other public authorities by mortgage companies to execute foreclosure. This report explores concerns related to these issues by explaining the mortgage market process, procedural problems that have surfaced during foreclosure proceedings, and other relevant information.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Role of Home State Senators in the Selection of Lower Federal Court Judges

Role of Home State Senators in the Selection of Lower Federal Court Judges

Date: November 10, 2010
Creator: Rutkus, Denis Steven
Description: This report examines the role played by Senators in the selection of nominees to two kinds of lower federal court judgeships. Specifically, the judgeships in question, over which Senators have historically played a role in nominee selection, are those (1) in the U.S. district courts lying geographically within the Senators' states and (2) in the U.S. court of appeals circuits of which the Senators' states are a geographic part. This report also discusses several historical and ethical aspects related to Senators recommending judicial candidates.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Obstruction of Congress: A Brief Overview of Federal Law Relating to Interference with Congressional Activities

Obstruction of Congress: A Brief Overview of Federal Law Relating to Interference with Congressional Activities

Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: Obstruction of justice is the frustration of governmental purposes by violence, corruption, destruction of evidence, or deceit. It is a federal crime. In fact, federal obstruction of justice laws are legion; too many for even passing reference to all of them in a single report. This is a brief description of those that outlaw interference with congressional activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Obstruction of Congress: An Abridged Overview of Federal Criminal Laws Relating to Interference with Congressional Activities

Obstruction of Congress: An Abridged Overview of Federal Criminal Laws Relating to Interference with Congressional Activities

Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report briefly discusses obstruction of justice, specifically regarding Congressional activities. Obstruction of justice is defined as the frustration of governmental purposes by violence, corruption, destruction of evidence, or deceit. This is an abridged version of CRS Report RL34304, Obstruction of Congress: A Brief Overview of Federal Law Relating to Interference with Congressional Activities, by Charles Doyle, without the footnotes, quotations, or citations to authority found in the longer report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Obstruction of Justice: An Abridged Overview of Related Federal Criminal Laws

Obstruction of Justice: An Abridged Overview of Related Federal Criminal Laws

Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report briefly discusses obstruction of justice, which is defined as the frustration of governmental purposes by violence, corruption, destruction of evidence, or deceit. This is an abridged version of CRS Report RL34304, Obstruction of Justice: An Overview of Some of the Federal Statutes That Prohibit Interference with Judicial, Executive, or Legislative Activities, by Charles Doyle, without the footnotes, quotations, or citations to authority found in the longer report.
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: November 5, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: Obstruction of justice is the frustration of governmental purposes by violence, corruption, destruction of evidence, or deceit. It is a federal crime. In fact, federal obstruction of justice laws are legion; too many for even passing reference to all of them in a single report. This is a brief description of the some of the more prominent.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Oil Spill Legislation in the 111th Congress

Oil Spill Legislation in the 111th Congress

Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report summarizes provisions of selected legislation - enacted and proposed - that address oil spill policy issues raised after the April 20, 2010, explosion and resulting oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. This report focuses primarily on oil spill policy matters that concern prevention, preparedness, response, and the liability and compensation framework.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Vann, Adam
Description: The development of offshore oil, gas, and other mineral resources in the United States is impacted by a number of interrelated legal regimes, including international, federal, and state laws. International law provides a framework for establishing national ownership or control of offshore areas, and domestic federal law mirrors and supplements these standards. This report discusses these issues.
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
Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?

Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?

Date: October 13, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report provides background on the conflict over interpretation and implementation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act. A brief discussion of the two laws is followed by a review of the major litigation of interest. EPA's efforts to clarify its policy in this area and the November 2006 rule and the 2009 federal court ruling are discussed, as well as possible options for EPA and Congress to further address the FIFRA-CWA issues. In June, EPA proposed a draft general CWA permit that it intends to finalize by April 2011 in response to the court ruling.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
North Korea: Legislative Basis for U.S. Economic Sanctions

North Korea: Legislative Basis for U.S. Economic Sanctions

Date: September 29, 2010
Creator: Rennack, Dianne E.
Description: This report discusses the economic sanctions the United States imposes on North Korea for activities related to weapons proliferation, destabilizing the region, anti-terrorism, and undemocratic governance.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Options for a Federal Renewable Electricity Standard

Options for a Federal Renewable Electricity Standard

Date: November 12, 2010
Creator: Campbell, Richard J.
Description: This report discusses current ideas for a federal Renewable Electricity (or Energy) Standard (RES) and a broader Clean Energy Standard (CES). The goal of this report is to explore how such policies could potentially increase the amounts of renewable electricity generated in the United States, discussing other related public policy goals and rationales for renewable energy development, and the challenges/drawbacks of RES policy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Bayh-Dole Act: Selected Issues in Patent Policy and the Commercialization of Technology

The Bayh-Dole Act: Selected Issues in Patent Policy and the Commercialization of Technology

Date: November 16, 2010
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: Congressional interest in facilitating U.S. technological innovation led to the passage of P.L. 96-517, Amendments to the Patent and Trademark Act, commonly referred to as the "Bayh-Dole Act" after its two main sponsors former Senators Robert Dole and Birch Bayh. Under this 1980 law, as amended, title to inventions made with government support is provided to the contractor if that contractor is a small business, a university, or other non-profit institution. This report discusses the rationale behind the passage of P.L. 96-517, its provisions, and implementation of the law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law

Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law

Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Garcia, Michael John & Manuel, Kate M.
Description: This report discusses the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law through the investigation and arrest of persons believed to have violated such laws. It describes current provisions in federal law that permit state and local police to enforce immigration law directly, analyzes major cases concerning the ability of states and localities to assist in immigration enforcement, and briefly examines opinions on the issue by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
False Patent Marking: Litigation and Legislation

False Patent Marking: Litigation and Legislation

Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: This report will describe and analyze the Federal Circuit's 2009 decision that requires a per-article penalty for false marking, as well as two subsequent Federal Circuit decisions in 2010 that answer several questions that have arisen during the recent false patent marking litigation. It also identifies and discusses legislation in the 111th Congress that would amend § 292 in order to retroactively end qui tam false marking suits and with the intent of reducing the number of false marking suits filed in the future.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: December 13, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: October 8, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened concerns about the region's future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Securing America's Borders: The Role of the Intelligence Community

Securing America's Borders: The Role of the Intelligence Community

Date: December 7, 2010
Creator: Best, Jr., Richard A.
Description: Maintaining the security of U.S. borders is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government. This report discusses the contribution of intelligence agencies to the border security efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies that work in cooperation with state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Much of the intelligence community's border security-related efforts are classified, however.
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department