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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2003
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Campaign Finance Law: The Supreme Court Upholds Key Provisions of BCRA in McConnell v. FEC

Campaign Finance Law: The Supreme Court Upholds Key Provisions of BCRA in McConnell v. FEC

Date: December 19, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. P.
Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court's decision in McConnell v. FEC. The court upheld against facial constitutional challenges key portions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), (P.L. 107-155, commonly known as the McCain-Feingold or Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform law).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Date: December 18, 2003
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Social Security Protection Act of 2003 (H.R. 743)

The Social Security Protection Act of 2003 (H.R. 743)

Date: December 12, 2003
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Limiting Court Jurisdiction Over Federal Constitutional Issues: “Court-Stripping”

Limiting Court Jurisdiction Over Federal Constitutional Issues: “Court-Stripping”

Date: December 11, 2003
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R.
Description: This report discusses various proposals that have been made to limit the jurisdiction of federal courts to hear cases regarding particular areas of constitutional law such as busing, abortion, prayer in school, and most recently, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Proposals of this type are often referred to as “court-stripping” legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
East Central Europe: Status of International Criminal Court (ICC) Exemption Agreements and U.S. Military Assistance

East Central Europe: Status of International Criminal Court (ICC) Exemption Agreements and U.S. Military Assistance

Date: November 25, 2003
Creator: Kim, Julie
Description: In a broad effort to obtain U.S. exemptions from International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction, the Bush Administration has sought to conclude bilateral agreements worldwide that would prohibit the transfer of U.S. citizens to the ICC. The European Union has strongly promoted the ICC and is opposed to the U.S.- proposed agreements. This report addresses twelve countries of east central Europe affected by the U.S. and European policies – Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, and Slovenia – and the status of their varied approaches to the transatlantic disagreement over the ICC.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, H.R. 1036, S. 659, S. 1805, S. 1806, 108th Congress: Legal Analysis

Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, H.R. 1036, S. 659, S. 1805, S. 1806, 108th Congress: Legal Analysis

Date: November 17, 2003
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Use of Blind Trusts by Federal Officials

The Use of Blind Trusts by Federal Officials

Date: October 31, 2003
Creator: Maskell, Jack
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Higher Education Act: Reauthorization Status and Issues

The Higher Education Act: Reauthorization Status and Issues

Date: October 29, 2003
Creator: Stedman, James B.
Description: This report provides an overview of postsecondary education (institutions and students), an overview of the Higher Education Act (HEA) with a focus on its most significant programs and provisions, and a discussion of major issues that have been, or may be, of interest to the Congress during the HEA reauthorization process.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress

Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress

Date: October 22, 2003
Creator: Reisch, Mark
Description: This report discusses the Superfund program designed for cleaning up the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites was created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA (P.L. 96-510, as amended). This report discusses recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Judicial Nomination Statistics: U.S. District and Circuit Courts, 1945-1976

Judicial Nomination Statistics: U.S. District and Circuit Courts, 1945-1976

Date: October 22, 2003
Creator: Sollenberger, Mitchel A
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Genetically Engineered Soybeans: Acceptance and Intellectual Property Rights Issues in South America

Genetically Engineered Soybeans: Acceptance and Intellectual Property Rights Issues in South America

Date: October 17, 2003
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report discusses issues regarding genetically engineered soybeans in South America. U.S. soybean growers and trade officials charge that Argentina and Brazil–the United States’ two major export competitors in international soybean markets–gain an unfair trade advantage by routinely saving genetically-engineered (GE), Roundup Ready (RR) soybean seeds from the previous harvest (a practice prohibited in the United States) for planting in subsequent years.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Drug Control: International Policy and Approaches

Drug Control: International Policy and Approaches

Date: October 16, 2003
Creator: Perl, Raphael F
Description: Over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. Despite apparent national political resolve to deal with the drug problem, inherent contradictions regularly appear between U.S. anti-drug policy and other national policy goals and concerns. The mix of competing domestic and international pressures and priorities has produced an ongoing series of disputes within and between the legislative and executive branches concerning U.S. international drug policy. One contentious issue has been the Congressionally-mandated certification process, an instrument designed to induce specified drug-exporting countries to prioritize or pay more attention to the fight against narcotics businesses.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Date: October 15, 2003
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009- 26, added a definition of “child pornography” that include visual depictions of what appears to be a minor engaging in explicit sexual conduct, even if no actual minor was used in producing the depiction. On April 16, 2002, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the Supreme Court held this provision unconstitutional to the extent that it prohibited pictures that were not produced with actual minors. (This case is discussed under “Section 2256,” below.) In response to Ashcroft, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would continue to ban some child pornography that was produced without an actual minor; on June 25, 2002, the House passed one such bill: H.R. 4623, 107th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Comparing Quota Buyout Payments for Peanuts and Tobacco

Comparing Quota Buyout Payments for Peanuts and Tobacco

Date: October 14, 2003
Creator: Womach, Jasper
Description: The purpose of this analysis is to provide a generally consistent comparison of the benefits provided to peanut quota holders and producers and proposed benefits concerning tobacco. It is not the intention of this analysis to attempt to determine the appropriate size of these buyout payments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Welfare Reform: An Issue Overview

Welfare Reform: An Issue Overview

Date: October 14, 2003
Creator: Burke, Vee
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies for the 108th Congress

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies for the 108th Congress

Date: October 10, 2003
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne; Gelb, Bernard A & Baldwin, Pamela
Description: This report discusses the ongoing debate about whether or not to approve energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Current law forbids energy leasing in the Refuge. This report addresses several legislative options on the issue, as well as policymakers' arguments for and against development, especially in the wake of increasing terrorism since 2000-2001.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Date: October 10, 2003
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A & Kruger, Lennard G
Description: From a public policy perspective, the goals are to ensure that broadband deployment is timely, that industry competes fairly, and that service is provided to all sectors and geographical locations of American society. The federal government -- through Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -- is seeking to ensure fair competition among the players so that broadband will be available and affordable in a timely manner to all Americans who want it. While the FCC's position is not to intervene at this time, some assert that legislation is necessary to ensure fair competition and timely broadband deployment. One proposal would ease certain legal restrictions and requirements, imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, on incumbent telephone companies who provide high speed data (broadband) access. Another proposal would compel cable companies to provide "open access" to competing Internet service providers.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Air Act Issues in the 108th Congress

Clean Air Act Issues in the 108th Congress

Date: October 10, 2003
Creator: McCarthy, James E
Description: Clean air issues were discussed at length in the 107th Congress, but legislation was not enacted, leaving the same issues for possible consideration in the 108th. The most prominent air quality issues discussed in this report are; the controversy over EPA’s proposed changes to the New Source Review (NSR) requirements, Clear Skies / Multi-Pollutant Legislation, gasoline additive MTBE, Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs Deadlines for Achieving the Ozone Air Quality Standard.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Hatch-Waxman Act: Proposed Legislative Changes Affecting Pharmaceutical Patents

The Hatch-Waxman Act: Proposed Legislative Changes Affecting Pharmaceutical Patents

Date: October 9, 2003
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H & Thomas, John R
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Social Security Protection Act of 2003 (H.R. 743)

The Social Security Protection Act of 2003 (H.R. 743)

Date: October 9, 2003
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Junk E-mail": An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail ("Spam")

"Junk E-mail": An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail ("Spam")

Date: October 6, 2003
Creator: Smith, Marcia S
Description: Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail,” aggravates many computer users. Not only can spam be a nuisance, but its cost may be passed on to consumers through higher charges from Internet service providers who must upgrade their systems to handle the traffic. Also, some spam involves fraud, or includes adult-oriented material that offends recipients or that parents want to protect their children from seeing. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique that is protected by the First Amendment. While 36 states have anti-spam laws, there is no federal law specifically concerning spam. Nine “antispam” bills are pending in the 108th Congress: H.R. 1933 (Lofgren), H.R. 2214 (Burr-Tauzin-Sensenbrenner), H.R. 2515 (Wilson-Green), S. 563 (Dayton), S. 877 (Burns-Wyden), S. 1052 (Nelson-FL), S. 1231 (Schumer), S. 1293 (Hatch), and S. 1327 (Corzine). Two (S. 877 and S. 1293) have been reported from committee. Tables providing brief “side-by-side” comparisons of the bills are included at the end of this report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medical Malpractice Liability Reform: Legal Issues and Fifty-State Survey of Caps on Punitive Damages and Noneconomic Damages

Medical Malpractice Liability Reform: Legal Issues and Fifty-State Survey of Caps on Punitive Damages and Noneconomic Damages

Date: October 6, 2003
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Products Liability: A Legal Overview

Products Liability: A Legal Overview

Date: October 6, 2003
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Abortion: Legislative Response

Abortion: Legislative Response

Date: October 3, 2003
Creator: Lewis, Karen J.; Shimabukuro, Jon O. & Ely, Dana
Description: The primary focus of this issue brief is legislative action in the 108th Congress with respect to abortion. However, discussion of those legislative proposals necessarily involves a brief discussion of the leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions concerning a woman’s right to choose whether to terminate her pregnancy. For a more detailed discussion of the relevant case law, see CRS Report 95-724, Abortion Law Development: A Brief Overview.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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