Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

Congressional Authority to Regulate Firearms: A Legal Overview

Description: Courts have been confronted with the question of whether federal laws can be applied to intrastate possession and intrastate transfers of firearms, or whether such application exceeds the authority of Congress. This report explores these cases and how courts have analyzed these as-applied challenges under the Supreme Court's Commerce Clause jurisprudence primarily set forth in United States v. Lopez.
Date: April 5, 2013
Creator: Chu, Vivian S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Description: This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment--of the ways that the Supreme Court has interpreted the guarantee of freedom of speech and press to provide no protection or only limited protection for some types of speech.
Date: September 8, 2014
Creator: Ruane, Kathleen Ann
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Data Security: Federal Legislative Approaches

Description: This report discusses the core areas addressed in federal legislation, including the scope of coverage (who is covered and what information is covered); data privacy and security safeguards for sensitive personal information; requirements for security breach notification (when, how, triggers, frequency, and exceptions); restrictions on social security numbers (collection, use, and sale); credit freezes on consumer reports; identity theft penalties; causes of action; and preemption.
Date: June 6, 2008
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations

Description: This report provides background information on key elements of the FBI terrorism investigative process, based on publicly available information. This report sets forth possible considerations for Congress as it executes its oversight role, including the extent to which intelligence has been integrated into FBI operations to support its counterterrorism mission and the progress the Bureau has made on its intelligence reform initiatives.
Date: April 24, 2013
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court

Description: This report provides an overview of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, analyzing its effects on detainee-related litigation in federal court. The report summarizes pending legislation and provides an analysis of relevant constitutional issues that may have some bearing on Congress's options with respect to the Guantanamo detainees.
Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.; Garcia, Michael John & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Description: This report analyzes the existing law and authority to detain U.S. persons, including American citizens and resident aliens, as well as other persons within the United States who are suspected of being members, agents, or associates of Al Qaeda or possibly other terrorist organizations as "enemy combatants."
Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 113th Congress

Description: This report provides background on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), discusses the categories of records FOIA exempts from public release, and analyzes statistics on FOIA administration. The report also provides background on several legal and policy issues related to FOIA, including the release of controversial records, the growth in use of certain FOIA exemptions, and the adoption of new technologies to improve FOIA administration. The report concludes with an examination of potential FOIA-related policy options for Congress.
Date: March 8, 2013
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information

Description: This report discusses federal laws governing consumer financial information held by financial companies, Gramm-Leach-Bliley's privacy provisions, and public and industry reaction.
Date: July 14, 2014
Creator: Murphy, M. Maureen
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of the key issues for Congress related to Egypt and information on U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt, as well as addressing the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
Date: June 5, 2014
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings

Description: This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants and also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance.
Date: April 21, 2014
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K. & Garcia, Michael John
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Free Exercise of Religion by Secular Organizations and Their Owners: Implications for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Description: This report examines the constitutional and statutory protections related to free exercise of religion, including current Supreme Court interpretations, as well as judicial and legislative avoidance of defining the parameters of religious belief. It also discusses significant examples of existing religious exemptions in current law, such as employment nondiscrimination, health care, and public accommodations law. Finally, it analyzes recent federal judicial decisions that have considered the religious freedom rights of commercial entities whose owners have religious objections to the contraceptive coverage requirement.
Date: March 21, 2014
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides historical background of the United Nations Human Rights Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions. Finally, it highlights possible policy issues for the 112th Congress, including the overall effectiveness of the Council in addressing human rights, implications for U.S. membership, and U.S. financial contributions to the Council.
Date: February 4, 2014
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 3, 2014
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Description: Report that provides a background to the detention of enemy belligerents, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals.
Date: July 25, 2013
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues

Description: Report that provides background on the development of intelligence satellites and identifies the roles various agencies play in their management and use. Issues surrounding the current policy and proposed changes are discussed, followed by a discussion of legal considerations.
Date: January 13, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr. & Elsea, Jennifer K.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Privacy: An Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Description: Report that provides an overview of federal law governing wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). It also appends citations to state law in the area and the text of ECPA.
Date: October 9, 2012
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pilotless Drones: Background and Considerations for Congress Regarding Unmanned Aircraft Operations in the National Airspace System

Description: Report that covers the history and current status of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Particular attention is paid to recent privacy implications and potential intrusiveness of drone operations that have emerged as a significant issue before Congress. It also looks at the current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) timeline to establish six test ranges throughout the United States to study unmanned aircraft integration technical issues.
Date: September 10, 2012
Creator: Elias, Bart
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
Date: September 13, 2012
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses

Description: This report first explores the potential uses of drones in the domestic sphere by federal, state, and local governments. It then surveys current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, including cases surrounding privacy in the home, privacy in public spaces, location tracking, manned aerial surveillance, and those involving the national border. Next, it considers how existing jurisprudence may inform current and proposed drone uses. It then describes the various legislative measures introduced in the 112th Congress to address the legal and policy issues surrounding drones and, finally, briefly identifies several alternative approaches that may constrain the potential scope of drone surveillance.
Date: September 6, 2012
Creator: Thompson, Richard M., II
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status

Description: This report examines initial responses to the 9/11 Commission's call for a board to oversee adherence to presidential guidelines on information sharing that safeguard the privacy of individuals about whom information is shared, and the implementation of this board.
Date: August 27, 2012
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
Date: February 7, 2011
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department