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
The Article V Convention for Proposing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives for Congress

The Article V Convention for Proposing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives for Congress

Date: July 10, 2012
Creator: Neale, Thomas H.
Description: This report identifies and examines historical issues related to the Article V Convention, which allows amendments to be added to the Constitution via Congressional vote or votes by the people.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview

Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview

Date: October 13, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report briefly explores the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), which requires imposition of a minimum 15-year term of imprisonment for recidivists convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 922(g). Section 924(e) applies only to those defendants who have three prior state or federal convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses. The report includes descriptions of constitutional challenges to the application of section 924(e), which have been generally unsuccessful.
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
Presidential Signing Statements: Constitutional and Institutional Implications

Presidential Signing Statements: Constitutional and Institutional Implications

Date: January 4, 2012
Creator: Garvey, Todd
Description: Presidential signing statements are official pronouncements issued by the President contemporaneously to the signing of a bill into law that, in addition to commenting on the law generally, have been used to forward the President's interpretation of the statutory language; to assert constitutional objections to the provisions contained therein; and, concordantly, to announce that the provisions of the law will be administered in a manner that comports with the administration's conception of the President's constitutional prerogatives. This report focuses on the use of signing statements by recent administrations, with particular emphasis on the Administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Line Item Veto: A Constitutional Analysis of Recent Proposals

Line Item Veto: A Constitutional Analysis of Recent Proposals

Date: April 17, 2006
Creator: Rosenberg, Morton
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Education Vouchers: Constitutional Issues and Cases

Education Vouchers: Constitutional Issues and Cases

Date: November 15, 2001
Creator: Ackerman, David M
Description: This report details the constitutional standards that currently apply to indirect aid programs and summarizes all of the pertinent state and federal court decisions, including the Ohio case that will be heard by the Supreme Court. On September 25, 2001, the Supreme Court agreed to review a case raising the controversial issue of the constitutionality of education vouchers. In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris the Sixth Circuit held Ohio’s Pilot Scholarship Program, which provided up to $2500 to help low-income students in Cleveland’s public schools attend private schools in the city, to violate the establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance Reform: Constitutional Issues Raised by Disclosure Requirements

Campaign Finance Reform: Constitutional Issues Raised by Disclosure Requirements

Date: March 20, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Campaign finance reform legislation often contains provisions that would impose additional reporting and disclosure requirements under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). For example, S. 27 (McCain/Feingold), would require disclosure of disbursements of expenditures over $10,000 for “electioneering communications,” which are defined to include broadcast ads that “refer” to federal office candidates, with identification of donors of $500 or more. S. 22 (Hagel/Landrieu) would increase and expedite current disclosure requirements under FECA. H.R. 380 (Shays/Meehan) would lower the current FECA threshold for contribution reporting from $200 to $50 and impose reporting requirements for soft money disbursements by persons other than political parties. This report will discuss some of the constitutional issues relating to these and other such disclosure requirements.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination

Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination

Date: December 6, 2004
Creator: Shampansky, Jay R
Description: This report provides an overview of the major issues which have been raised recently in the Senate regarding the Judicial Nominations, Filibusters, and the Constitution: When a Majority Is Denied Its Right to Consent and in the press concerning the constitutionality of a Senate filibuster (i.e., extended debate) of a judicial nomination.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends

Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends

Date: August 3, 2001
Creator: Costello, George
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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