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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Date: January 7, 2009
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Description: Many Members of Congress see continued tension between "free speech" decisions of the Supreme Court, which protect flag desecration as expressive conduct under the First Amendment, and the symbolic importance of the United States flag. This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fairness Doctorine: History and Constitutional Issues

Fairness Doctorine: History and Constitutional Issues

Date: January 12, 2009
Creator: Ruane, Kathleen Ann
Description: The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) that required broadcast licensees to cover issues of public importance and to do so in a fair manner. In 1987, after a period of study, the FCC repealed the Fairness Doctrine. The debate in Congress regarding whether to reinstate the doctrine continues today. This report covers the history of such debates.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Date: January 12, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program

The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program

Date: January 14, 2009
Creator: Burrows, Vanessa K.
Description: This report discusses the Special Inspector General provisions in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, H.R. 1424, which was enacted as P.L. 110-343 on October 3, 2008. This Act created a Special Inspector General (SIG) for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). This report will compare the duties and authorities of the SIG TARP to those of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), as well as statutory IGs under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (IG Act).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Date: January 15, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report briefly discusses the USDA's FY2006 appropriation, which postpones rules requiring many retailers to provide country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for fresh produce, red meats, and peanuts until September 30, 2008. The report also discusses related legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran's Economic Conditions: U.S. Policy Issues

Iran's Economic Conditions: U.S. Policy Issues

Date: January 15, 2009
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: This report provides a general overview of Iran's economy, addresses related U.S. policy concerns, and discusses policy options for Congress. The purpose of this report is two-fold. First, it provides insight into important macroeconomic trends, policy reforms and objectives, key economic sectors, international trade patterns, and sources of foreign exchange. Second, in the context of U.S. economic sanctions imposed for national security and foreign policy reasons, it evaluates Iran's economic structure, strengths, and vulnerabilities and discusses issues and options for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Products Liability: A Legal Overview

Products Liability: A Legal Overview

Date: January 16, 2009
Creator: Chu, Vivian S.
Description: This report discusses products liability, which refers to the liability of a manufacturer or seller for injury caused by his product to the person or property of a buyer or third party. Legal developments starting in the 1960s, particularly the adoption of strict tort liability, have made it substantially easier for persons injured by defective products to recover damages.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Proposed Funding for Education in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Proposed Funding for Education in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Date: January 22, 2009
Creator: Skinner, Rebecca R.; Smole, David P.; Lordeman, Ann & Riddle, Wayne C.
Description: This report provides a brief overview of the key provisions related to education programs that are or would be administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that were included in the act under Title IX (Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education) and Title XII (State Fiscal Stabilization Fund). It also provides estimates of state grants for programs for which these estimates are relevant and for which data needed to produce the estimates are available.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The War Crimes Act: Current Issues

The War Crimes Act: Current Issues

Date: January 22, 2009
Creator: Garcia, Michael J.
Description: This report discusses current issues related to the War Crimes Act of 1996 and Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which sets out minimum standards for the treatment of detainees in armed conflicts "not of an international character (e.g., civil wars, rebellions, and other conflicts between State and non-State actors).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Compulsory DNA Collection: A Fourth Amendment Analysis

Compulsory DNA Collection: A Fourth Amendment Analysis

Date: January 23, 2009
Creator: Henning, Anna C.
Description: This report examines compulsory DNA collection by law enforcement and its implications in regards to 4th amendment protections by examining legal precedents and considering the contemporary scientific understanding of DNA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Immigration-Related Document Fraud: Overview of Civil, Criminal, and Immigration Consequences

Immigration-Related Document Fraud: Overview of Civil, Criminal, and Immigration Consequences

Date: January 23, 2009
Creator: Kim, Yule & Garcia, Michael J.
Description: This report discusses the primary civil, criminal, and immigration-related penalties associated with immigration-related document fraud. In order to enter or remain in the United States and be eligible for various immigration-related benefits, non-citizens (aliens) must comply with a number of document requirements under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Date: January 26, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: This report discusses the mainstays of the U.S. capacity to issue warnings: the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which relies primarily on broadcasting media, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio All-Hazards Network.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization: An Overview of Selected Provisions in Proposed Legislation Considered by the 110th Congress

Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization: An Overview of Selected Provisions in Proposed Legislation Considered by the 110th Congress

Date: January 27, 2009
Creator: Elias, Bart
Description: The report is intended to provide a brief summary and analysis of major legislative provisions in bills related to reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration and related aviation programs that were considered during the 110th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Recruitment Provisions Under the No Child Left Behind Act: A Legal Analysis

Military Recruitment Provisions Under the No Child Left Behind Act: A Legal Analysis

Date: January 29, 2009
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: This report describes the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) military recruitment provisions and discusses the legal issues that they may raise if the 111th Congress considers reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The NCLBA amended the ESEA to say that high schools receiving federal funds must provide certain student contact information to military recruiters upon request and must allow recruiters to have the same access to students as employers and colleges.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Statutes: What They Are and Where to Find Them

Federal Statutes: What They Are and Where to Find Them

Date: January 30, 2009
Creator: Foley, Cassandra L.
Description: This report provides a brief overview of federal statutes and where to find them, both in print and on the Internet.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Date: January 30, 2009
Creator: Vann, Adam
Description: This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law, and describes the laws -- at both the state and federal levels -- governing the development of offshore oil and gas and related litigation. Additionally, it provides an outline of the changes to the regulating authorities by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, subsequent legislation and executive action, and a discussion of recent executive action and legislative proposals that would allow for further offshore exploration and production.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

Date: January 30, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: This report describes provisions of the LOS Convention relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA)

The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA)

Date: February 2, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report discusses the increasing international pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear program and how that pressure discourages foreign firms from investing in Iran's energy sector, hindering Iran's efforts to expand oil production. It also discusses the history and progress of the formal U.S. effort to curb energy investment in Iran, which began with the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) in 1996
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: February 3, 2009
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: This report discusses the rationale behind the passage of P.L. 96-517 (Amendments to the Patent and Trademark Act, or the "Bayh-Dole Act") as well as its provisions and information regarding the implementation of the law. 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP): Status and Issues

Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP): Status and Issues

Date: February 5, 2009
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Description: This report presents an overview of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible agricultural producers who wish to implement soil and water conservation practices. The purpose of EQIP is to promote agriculture production, forestry management, and environmental quality as compatible goals, and to optimize environmental benefits. The report also discusses select issues for Congress regarding tighter budget constraints that could potentially reduce funding levels for EQIP and a continuing backlog of unfunded applications. A change in income limitations along with a new waiver created in the 2008 farm bill could also raise issues for the program. EQIP will also continue to face challenges in measuring environmental and program accomplishments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP): Status and Issues

Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP): Status and Issues

Date: February 5, 2009
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Description: The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible agricultural producers who wish to implement soil and water conservation practices. The purpose of EQIP is to promote agriculture production, forestry management, and environmental quality as compatible goals, and to optimize environmental benefits.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Mountain Pine Beetles and Forest Destruction: Effects, Responses, and Relationship to Climate Change

Mountain Pine Beetles and Forest Destruction: Effects, Responses, and Relationship to Climate Change

Date: February 6, 2009
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Description: This report examines the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) epidemic because it is one of the most damaging insects affecting forests and because more is known about its life cycle than the cycles of many other forest pests.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Mountain Pine Beetles and Forest Destruction: Effects, Responses, and Relationship to Climate Change

Mountain Pine Beetles and Forest Destruction: Effects, Responses, and Relationship to Climate Change

Date: February 6, 2009
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Description: This report examines the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) epidemic because it is one of the most damaging insects affecting forests and because more is known about its life cycle than the cycles of many other forest pests.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Piracy and Its Impact on Insurance

Ocean Piracy and Its Impact on Insurance

Date: February 6, 2009
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Description: This report examines the issue of piracy off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The report looks into the impact of such piracy on the insurance industry and explains the available options for Congress to mitigate piracy's negative effects on the industry.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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