Congressional Research Service Reports - 1,035 Matching Results

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Federal Statutes: What They Are and Where to Find Them
After providing an overview on the basics of federal statutes, this report gives guidance on where federal statutes, in their various forms, may be located in print and on the Internet.
Independent Counsels, Special Prosecutors, Special Counsels, and the Role of Congress
Report that provides information on the procedure for the appointment of an "independent counsel," a "special prosecutor," or a "special counsel" to investigate and prosecute potential or possible violations of federal criminal law by officials in the executive branch of the federal government and in federal agencies.
Supreme Court October Term 2017: A Preview of Select Cases
This report highlights four of the notable cases of the new term that could impact the work of Congress: (1) Carpenter v. United States, which examines the limits the Fourth Amendment imposes on the warrantless collection of the historical cell phone location records of a criminal suspect; (2) Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a case exploring whether Congress, by prohibiting a state from partially repealing a state law, impermissibly commandeers the powers of the state; (3) Gill v. Whitford, which considers when a state's redistricting plan amounts to impermissible partisan gerrymandering; and (4) Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which asks whether a baker has a First Amendment right to decline to make cakes for same-sex weddings. Each case is addressed in a separate section that provides background information on the case; summarizes the arguments that were or are likely to be presented to the Court in each case; and examines the implications that the Court's ruling could have for Congress, including broader ramifications for the jurisprudence in a given area of law.
International Law and Agreements: Their Effect upon U.S. Law
This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. This includes the role of different branches of government play in navigating such laws.
International Law and Agreements: Their Effect upon U.S. Law
This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. The report discusses forms of international agreements and the effects of international agreements on U.S. law.
International Law and Agreements: Their Effect Upon U.S. Law
This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. International law is derived from two primary sources — international agreements and customary practice.
The Doctrine of Constitutional Avoidance: A Legal Overview
This report discusses select issues regarding judicial review, and offers some contemporary views on the Ashwander Doctrine, under which the Supreme Court avoids ruling decisively in cases that it deems able to be resolved outside of the court, non-constitutionally (Constitutional Avoidance).
Obstruction of Justice: An Abridged Overview of Related Federal Criminal Laws
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.
International Law and Agreements: Their Effect Upon U.S. Law
This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. International law is derived from two primary sources--international agreements and customary practice. Under the U.S. legal system, international agreements can be entered into by means of a treaty or an executive agreement. The Constitution allocates primary responsibility for entering into such agreements to the executive branch, but Congress also plays an essential role.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure
This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. The report also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information-access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure
This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. It also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure
This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. It also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure
This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. In addition, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally based limitations on the power. Finally, the report includes a discussion of the significance of the House Judiciary Committee dispute with the White House over the dismissal of several U.S. Attorneys that resulted in votes for criminal contempt of Congress and the United States District Court opinion in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers.
Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Enforcement: Legal Issues
This report begins by discussing the sources of federal power to regulate immigration and, particularly, the allocation of power between Congress and the President in this area. It next addresses the constitutional and other foundations for the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion, as well as the potential ways in which prosecutorial discretion may be exercised in the immigration context. It concludes by addressing potential constitutional, statutory, and administrative constraints upon the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
Energy and Water Development: FY2014 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
A Second Amendment Right to Sell Firearms? The Ninth Circuit, Sitting En Banc, Weighs In
This report discusses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ninth Circuit) decision in "Teixeira v. County of Alameda" which reversed the original court decision which held that Second Amendment rights applied to commercial firearm sellers. The course of the case and decision and implications of the ruling are also discussed.
Remedies for Patent Infringement
This report discusses the current legal system rules for patent infringement cases and current bills introduced in Congress related to patents.
Supreme Court October Term 2016: A Review of Select Major Rulings
This report highlights four particularly notable cases the Court heard and ruled on during the October 2016 term: Matal v. Tam, which examines the interplay between the First Amendment and trademark law; Sessions v. Morales-Santana, a case exploring the relationship between immigration law and the Court's Equal Protection jurisprudence; Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, the latest chapter in the Court's Free Exercise jurisprudence; and Ziglar v. Abbasi, a case limiting the types of damages claims that can be asserted against federal officers for alleged constitutional violations under the Bivens doctrine. Each case is addressed in a separate section below, which provides background information on the case; summarizes the arguments that were presented to the Court; explains the Court's ultimate ruling; and examines the implications that the Court's ruling could have for Congress, including broader ramifications for jurisprudence in a given area of law.
Responsibility Determinations Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Legal Standards and Procedures
This report discusses the standards and procedures that federal agencies use in making responsibility determinations under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). It discusses (1) how responsibility determinations relate to other mechanisms that the government relies upon to ensure that contractors are responsible and otherwise eligible for federal contracts; (2) the performance-related and collateral standards used in making responsibility determinations; (3) the procedures for making responsibility determinations; and (4) recently enacted or proposed amendments to the standards or procedures for responsibility determinations.
Responsibility Determinations Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Legal Standards and Procedures
This report discusses the standards and procedures that federal agencies use in making responsibility determinations under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). As a general rule, government agencies contract with the lowest qualified responsible bidder or offeror. Responsibility is an attribute of the contractor, while price and qualifications are attributes of the bid or offer. Under the FAR, "[n]o purchase or award shall be made unless the contracting officer makes an affirmative determination of responsibility."
State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement
This report discusses legal issues related to state and local measures that limit law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The report begins by providing a brief overview of the constitutional principles informing the relationship between federal immigration authorities and state and local jurisdictions, including the federal government's power to preempt state and local activities under the Supremacy Clause, and the Tenth Amendment's proscription against Congress directly "commandeering" the states to administer a federally enacted regulatory scheme.
Energy and Water Development: FY2010 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Energy and Water Development: FY2015 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement
This report discusses legal issues related to state and local measures that limit law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. It includes legal background and select limitations on immigration enforcement including traditional "sanctuary" policies, declining to honor immigration detainers, shielding juveniles from federal detection, and modifying criminal sentences to avoid immigration consequences.
Energy and Water Development: FY2014 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
A Primer on the Reviewability of Agency Delay and Enforcement Discretion
This report discusses the general legal principles applied in determining whether administrative delays are reviewable in court in these two different contexts and then address whether the procedures outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) are applicable to these delays.
Offices of Inspectors General and Law Enforcement Authority: In Brief
This report identifies the laws and regulations that vest certain offices of inspector general (OIGs) with law enforcement authority, which permits the use of guns and ammunition. This report also describes some of the requirements and expectations of OIGs that have law enforcement authority, and includes some reasons that OIGs have expressed a need for law enforcement authority.
Energy and Water Development: FY2015 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Conducting Foreign Relations Without Authority: The Logan Act
This report discusses the Logan Act, which was intended to prohibit United States citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments.
Money Laundering: An Abridged Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1956 and Related Federal Criminal Law
This is an overview of the elements of federal criminal money laundering statutes and the sanctions imposed for their violation.
Tort and Litigation Reform in the 115th Congress
This report discusses "tort reform" which refers to whether (and to what extent) legislatures should limit lawsuits concerning negligence, personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability, and other similar causes of action. The report surveys several major tort and litigation reform bills pending in the 115th Congress and discusses some of the legal issues raised by each bill.
How Broad a Shield? A Brief Overview of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
This report discusses Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 which was added too the law in 1996 to provide liability protection to online service providers regarding what users posted on their sites. Concerns about criminal activity being allowed to continue by companies due to the law and internet freedom advocates support for the law are discussed.
Memorandum: Civil-Suit Provision in the House-Passed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38)
This report evaluates legal issues potentially arising from the civil-suit provision in H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which the House of Representatives passed on December 6, 2017
Appointment of African American U.S. Circuit and District Court Judges: Historical Overview and Current Data
This report briefly provides historical and statistical information related to the appointment of African Americans as U.S. circuit and district court judges. Such information addresses ongoing congressional interest in the demographic characteristics of lower federal court judges.
Majority, Concurring, and Dissenting Opinions Authored by Judge Merrick Garland
This report identifies and briefly summarizes each of the more than 350 cases in which Judge Garland has authored a majority, concurring, or dissenting opinion. Arguably, these written opinions provide the greatest insight into Judge Garland's judicial approach, as a judge's vote in a case or decision to join an opinion authored by a colleague may be based upon a number of considerations and may not necessarily represent full agreement with a joined opinion.
Judge Merrick Garland: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court
This report provides an overview of Judge Garland's jurisprudence and discusses what the impact on the Court might be if he, or a judge of a similar judicial approach, were to be confirmed to succeed Justice Scalia. The report begins with his views on two overarching issues -- the role of the judiciary and statutory interpretation -- it then addresses 14 separate areas of law, which are arranged in alphabetical order from "administrative law" to "takings."
Corporate Inversions: Frequently Asked Legal Questions
This report answers frequently-asked legal questions about corporate inversions. It answers questions relating to the scope and operation of Section 7874, including how key statutory terms have been interpreted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It discusses important Department of Treasury regulations that were finalized in 2015 and 2016, and answers questions about the IRS's authority to issue these regulations. Other questions that are answered relate to legislation introduced in the 114th Congress, the interaction of Section 7874 with tax treaties, and the imposition of an excise tax on corporate insiders who benefit from an inversion.
Broadband Data Privacy and Security: What's Net Neutrality Got to Do With It?
This report is the third in a series discussing the potential impact of the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to reclassify broadband Internet access services (BIAS). This report focuses on the proposal's possible effect on the regulation of BIAS providers' privacy practices.
Banking Policy Issues in the 115th Congress
This report provides a broad overview of selected banking-related issues, including prudential regulation, consumer protection, "too big to fail" (TBTF) banks, community banking, regulatory agency structures and independence, and recent market and economic trends. It is not an exhaustive look at all bank policy issues, nor is it a detailed examination of any one issue. Rather, it provides concise background and analyses of certain prominent issues that have been the subject of recent discussion and debate. In addition, this report provides a list of Congressional Research Service reports that examine specific bills, including the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) and bills proposing to provide regulatory relief for banks.
FY2018 Appropriations for Department of Justice Grant Programs
This report discusses the funding for a variety of grant programs through the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Pending ACA Legal Challenges Remain as Congress Pursues Health Care Reform
This report discusses developments since January 2017 related to legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health care reform.
Presidential Pardons: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This report provides a general overview of the pardon power and briefly addresses a few frequently-asked legal questions concerning its scope and application, such as: whether the President can issue a "prospective pardon, pardon himself or issue "secret" pardons, whether the acceptance of a pardon is an admission of guilt, and whether Congress can regulate the President's pardon power.
Criminal Justice Reform: One Judge's View
This report briefly provides highlights from an article written by Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in which he recommended 26 changes in the U.S. criminal justice system, federal and state.
The Federal Circuit Rules on Trademarks Considered Offensive: May Affect Redskins Trademark Dispute
This legal sidebar examines cases involving the revocation of the Washington Redskins' federally-registered trademarks (Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse) and the refusal to grant registration for a rock band's name (In re Tam). These cases raise questions about the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act of 1946 (conventionally known as the Lanham Act), which denies trademark registration to certain offensive content.
The Financial CHOICE Act in the 115th Congress: Selected Policy Issues
This report highlights major proposals included in the Financial CHOICE Act (FCA) but is not a comprehensive summary. In general, the bill proposes changes that can be divided into two categories: (1) changes to financial policies and regulations and (2) changes to the regulatory structure and rulemaking process. Major policy-related changes proposed by the FCA include the following: Leverage Ratio, Regulatory Relief, To Big To Fail, Funding, Rulemaking, Judicial Review, Enforcement, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Reserve.
Privatization and the Constitution: Selected Legal Issues
This report focuses on the constitutional principles and judicial decisions that may constrain certain types of privatization that involve private and government-created entities.
Foreign Money and U.S. Elections
This report provides an overview of the prohibitions on foreign money under federal campaign finance law.
The Federal Anti-Nepotism Statute: Limits on Appointing, Hiring, and Promoting Relatives
This report discusses laws governing the hiring of family members in the executive branch and ant-nepotism efforts.
Insurance and the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10)
This report discusses changes to current insurance law under the new Financial CHOICE Act.
Domestic Terrorism: An Overview
This report provides background regarding domestic terrorists--detailing what constitutes the domestic terrorism threat as suggested by publicly available U.S. government sources. It also illustrates some of the key factors involved in assessing this threat.