National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background

National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background

Date: January 3, 2014
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report discusses the USA PATRIOT Act (107-56) and its expanded authority to issue national security letters (NSLs). A report by the Department of Justice's Inspector General (IG) found that in its pre-amendment use of expanded USA PATRIOT Act authority the FBI had "used NSLs in violation of applicable NSL statutes, Attorney General Guidelines, and internal FBI policies," but that no criminal laws had been broken.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

Date: July 30, 2008
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 110th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Date: July 26, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA; 5 U.S.C. §552) enables any person to access—without explanation or justification—certain existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records. Pursuant to FOIA, the public has presumptive access to requested agency records unless the material falls within any of FOIA's nine categories of exemption from disclosure. This report discusses FOIA's history, examines its implementation, and provides potential policy approaches for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

Date: August 10, 2009
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Endangered Species Act and Private Property

The Endangered Species Act and Private Property

Date: March 7, 1993
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: If the 103rd Congress embarks upon an effort to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it will run into an old acquaintance: the property rights issue. As now written, the ESA has at least the potential to curtail property rights (whatever its actual impact as implemented may be). This report explores the legal repercussions of those impacts, especially whether they constitute takings of property under the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The "Son of Sam" Case: Legislative Implications

The "Son of Sam" Case: Legislative Implications

Date: November 30, 1998
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: In Simon & Schuster, Inc. v. Members of the new York State Crime Victims Board, the U.S. Supreme Court held that New York State's "Son of Sam" law was inconsistent with the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech and press. This report examines the Supreme Court decision and then considers whether its rationale renders the federal law unconstitutional. Concluding that it likely does, the report considers whether it would be possible to enact a constitutional Son-of-Sam statute. Finally, the report takes note of some state Son-of-Sam statutes that have been enacted since the Supreme Court decision.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Access to Government Information in the United States

Access to Government Information in the United States

Date: August 31, 2009
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: The U.S. Constitution makes no specific allowance for any one of the three branches of the federal government to have access to information held by the others. No provision in the U.S. Constitution expressly establishes a procedure for public access to government information. Congress has legislated various public access laws. Among these laws are two records access statutes, The Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and two meetings access statutes, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report offers an overview of the four information access laws noted above, and provides citations to additional resources related to these tools.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Freedom of Information Act and Nondisclosure Provisions in Other Federal Laws

The Freedom of Information Act and Nondisclosure Provisions in Other Federal Laws

Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Stevens, Gina
Description: This report discusses Congressional considerations regarding how to balance the federal government's growing need for sensitive or confidential business information, the public's right of access to information about government activities, and the private sector's interest in keeping its sensitive or proprietary information protected from public disclosure. The report discusses this issue in light of particularly the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other similar legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: This report reviews the objectives delineated in President Obama's Open Government Initiative (OGI) and examines the expectations placed on agencies to meet these objectives. This report reviews department and agency attempts to implement Obama Administration initiatives that seek to make the federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. The report then analyzes options for congressional action in this area.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Date: February 1, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 affirm that the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons captured in connection with hostilities. This report provides a background to the legal issues presented, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals. An overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to the national security is presented.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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