Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Federal Habeas Corpus: An Abridged Sketch

Description: This report discusses federal habeas corpus, which is a procedure under which a federal court may review the legality of an individual’s incarceration. It is most often invoked after conviction and the exhaustion of the ordinary means of appeal. It is at once the last refuge of scoundrels and the last hope of the innocent. It is an intricate weave of statute and case law whose reach has flowed and ebbed over time.
Date: April 28, 2006
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Habeas Corpus: A Brief Legal Overview

Description: This report discusses Federal habeas corpus, which is a procedure under which a federal court may review the legality of an individual’s incarceration. It is most often the stage of the criminal appellate process that follows direct appeal and any available state collateral review.
Date: April 26, 2006
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Habeas Corpus Relief: Background, Legislation, and Issues

Description: This report examines the issues surrounding the debate on whether to further restrict state prisoners’ access to federal habeas corpus filings. This report does not discuss issues related to federalism and the proper role of the federal court system in overseeing the actions of state courts pertaining to prisoners’ constitutional rights. The report opens with a discussion of a commission that was established in 1988 to study and make recommendations of the then-current federal habeas corpus system and the 1996 law that restricted prisoners’ access to federal habeas corpus relief. It then provides an analysis of federal habeas corpus petition data since 1990. The report examines whether the number of federal habeas corpus petitions and the time it takes for the federal court system to process these claims have increased since the enactment of the the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). It then discusses legislation introduced in the 109th Congress that would further restrict state prisoners’ access to federal habeas corpus relief. The report concludes with an analysis of two dominant issues that are at the center of this debate: delays caused by habeas corpus petitions and post-conviction representation.
Date: February 1, 2006
Creator: Seghetti, Lisa M & James, Nathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Description: Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with U.S. statutes and treaties such as the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Congress approved additional guidelines concerning the treatment of detainees via the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), which was enacted pursuant to both the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-148), and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-163). Among other things, the DTA contains provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions of the DTA, which were first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the “McCain Amendment.” This report discusses the McCain Amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law.
Date: September 25, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Description: Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with U.S. statutes and treaties such as the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Congress approved additional guidelines concerning the treatment of detainees via the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), which was enacted pursuant to both the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-148), and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-163). Among other things, the DTA contains provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions of the DTA, which were first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the “McCain Amendment.” This report discusses the McCain Amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law.
Date: October 2, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Description: This report discusses the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), which contains provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions of the DTA, which were first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the “McCain amendment.” This report discusses the McCain amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law. This report also discusses the application of the McCain amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.
Date: September 20, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Data Security Breaches: Context and Incident Summaries

Description: Personal data security breaches are being reported with increasing regularity. Within the last few years, numerous examples of data such as Social Security numbers, bank account, credit card, driver’s license numbers, and medical and student records have been compromised. A major reason for the increased awareness of these security breaches is a California law that requires notice of security breaches to the affected individuals. This law, implemented in July 2003, was the first of its kind in the nation.
Date: September 28, 2006
Creator: Tehan, Rita
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Description: Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
Date: September 25, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Description: Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
Date: October 2, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Enemy Combatant Detainees:

Description: In Rasul v. Bush, a divided Supreme Court declared that “a state of war is not a blank check for the president” and ruled that persons deemed “enemy combatants” have the right to challenge their detention before a judge or other “neutral decision-maker.” This report provides an overview of the CSRT procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Detainee Treatment Act, analyzing how it might affect detainee-related litigation in federal court.
Date: September 26, 2006
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K. & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Description: This report discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934.
Date: May 17, 2006
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie & Rainson, Tara Alexandra
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Description: This report discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934.
Date: February 28, 2006
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie & Rainson, Tara Alexandra
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court

Description: There have been inconsistent opinions in the District Court for the District of Columbia as to whether detainees who are suspected of connections to terrorist actions have any enforceable rights to challenge their treatment and detention. This report describes issues surrounding the writ of habeas corpus as it relates to detaining and imprisonment in matters of counterterrorism. This report also includes several legal cases and pieces of legislation in regards to this issue.
Date: September 26, 2006
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K. & Thomas, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China and Falun Gong

Description: “Falun Gong,” also known as “Falun Dafa,”1 combines an exercise regimen with meditation and moral tenets. The “Falun Gong” movement has led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. On April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 adherents assembled in front of Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound, and participated in a silent protest against state repression of their activities. On July 21, 1999, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of the spread of social unrest, outlawed the movement and began to arrest Falun Gong protesters.
Date: May 25, 2006
Creator: Lum, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Description: This report discusses the recent controversy that has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with U.S. statutes and treaties such as the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). Congress recently approved additional guidelines concerning the treatment of detainees. The Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109- 148), and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-163) contain identical provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions, added to the defense appropriations and authorization bills via amendments introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as “the McCain amendment.” This report discusses the McCain amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law.
Date: January 24, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses the ongoing debate over the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. The report provides background information and analysis over the pros and cons of the debate and gun related statistics. It is a contentious debate, with strong advocates for and against the further federal regulation of firearms.
Date: September 15, 2006
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses the gun legislation in the 190th Congress. It presents the views of a contentious debate, with strong advocates for and against the further federal regulation of firearms.
Date: August 4, 2006
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department