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Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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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: May 21, 2010
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
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: July 21, 2008
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legal Analysis of Religious Exemptions for Photo Identification Requirements

Description: This report analyzes the legal issues associated with religious exemptions to photo identification laws. Although no lawsuits appear to have challenged federal laws with photo requirements, state photo identification laws have been challenged for several decades.
Date: April 13, 2009
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status

Description: Recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission), the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) was initially established as an agency within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) in 2004. Critics, however, maintained that the board appeared to be a presidential appendage, devoid of the capability to exercise independent judgment and assessment or to provide impartial findings and recommendations. This viewpoint gained acceptance in the 110th Congress when the PCLOB was reconstituted as an independent agency within the executive branch by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act (IR9/11CA), signed into law on August 6, 2007. On January 5, 2011, President Obama nominated two people to serve on the board, but the Senate has not confirmed either. This report will be updated as events warrant.
Date: November 14, 2011
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
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

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
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
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.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tying Up Loose Ends... Supreme Court To Evaluate Federal Firearm Provision Again

Description: This legal sidebar discusses certiorari to hear Voisine v. United States, a decision examining the federal provision that makes it unlawful for an individual to possess a firearm or ammunition if he or she has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV).
Date: December 3, 2015
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

9/11 Commission Recommendations: A Civil Liberties Oversight Board

Description: This report discusses the recommendation made by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) regarding the creation of a board within the executive branch to oversee adherence to guidelines on, and the commitment to defend, civil liberties by the federal government.
Date: December 22, 2004
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
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 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.
Date: June 5, 2008
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Citizen Control Over Records Held by Third Parties

Description: The United States has become an information society. Government at every level and private industry have been collecting and using more personal information about individuals in the last several years than ever before. The Congress has been aware of this trend, and of the potencia1 for misuse of the information so collected; it has enacted several laws that protect the personal privacy of individuals, and respect the confidentiality of the information maintained about individuals by third parties. In this report, several privacy laws are summarized, and key provisions of each are compared, in order to make individual citizens aware of their rights , responsibilities and remedies under the law.
Date: December 8, 1978
Creator: Collins, Sarah P
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Critical Infrastructure Information Disclosure and Homeland Security

Description: This report discusses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was passed to ensure by statute citizen access to government information. Nine categories of information may be exempted from disclosure. Three of the nine exemptions provide possible protection against the release of critical infrastructure information: exemption 1 (national security information); exemption 3 (information exempted by statute); and exemption 4 (confidential business information). Congress has considered several proposals to exempt critical infrastructure information from the FOIA.
Date: August 31, 2002
Creator: Moteff, John D. & Stevens, Gina Marie
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Critical Infrastructure Information Disclosure and Homeland Security

Description: This report discusses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was passed to ensure by statute citizen access to government information. Nine categories of information may be exempted from disclosure. Three of the nine exemptions provide possible protection against the release of critical infrastructure information: exemption 1 (national security information); exemption 3 (information exempted by statute); and exemption 4 (confidential business information). Congress has considered several proposals to exempt critical infrastructure information from the FOIA.
Date: January 29, 2003
Creator: Moteff, John D. & Stevens, Gina Marie
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department