Congressional Research Service Reports - 324 Matching Results

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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
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
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

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
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
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. Finally, it highlights possible policy issues for the 113th Congress, including the overall effectiveness of the Council in addressing human rights situations, implications for U.S. membership, and U.S. financial contributions to the Council.
Date: April 30, 2013
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background, Legislation, and Policy Issues

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. It 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 the 113th Congress.
Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Freedom of Information Act and Nondisclosure Provisions in Other Federal Laws

Description: This report discusses Congressional considerations regarding how to balance the federal government's growing need for sensitive or confidential business information, the public's right of access to information about government activities, and the private sector's interest in keeping its sensitive or proprietary information protected from public disclosure. The report discusses this issue in light of particularly the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other similar legislation.
Date: December 13, 2010
Creator: Stevens, Gina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: A Sketch of Selected Issues

Description: This report briefly outlines three issues relating to electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and touches upon some of the perspectives reflected in the ongoing debate. These issues include the inherent and often dynamic tension between national security and civil liberties, particularly rights of privacy and free speech; the need for the intelligence community to be able to efficiently and effectively collect foreign intelligence information from the communications of foreign persons located outside the United States in a changing, fast-paced, and technologically sophisticated international environment or from United States persons abroad, and the differing approaches suggested to meet this need; and limitations of liability for those electronic communication service providers who furnish aid to the federal government in its foreign intelligence collection. Two constitutional provisions, in particular, are implicated in this debate — the Fourth and First Amendments. This report briefly examines these issues and sets them in context.
Date: July 7, 2008
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public Access to Data from Federally Funded Research: Provisions in OMB Circular A-110

Description: The results of scientific studies are used in making many governmental policy decisions. While the studies are often published, the data on which they are based may not be, even for federally funded research. Before 1999, academic and nonprofit performers of such research were permitted but not required to make their data available to the public through provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In October 1998, a provision in P.L. 105-277 changed that, requiring that such data be made publicly available. This report provides background on the 1999 revisions to federal policy, a discussion of the impacts of those changes, and an analysis of the issues raised by them.
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Fischer, Eric A.
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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

No Second Amendment Cases for the Supreme Court's 2014-2015 Term...Yet

Description: This report discusses the reluctance by the Supreme Court to take cases involving the Second Amendment. Commentators have observed that the Court appears to have become "gun shy" regarding this issue, given that it has not taken up a Second Amendment case since its landmark rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010.
Date: October 23, 2014
Creator: Chu, Vivian S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department