Congressional Research Service Reports - 324 Matching Results

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The War Crimes Act: Current Issues

Description: This report discusses current issues related to the War Crimes Act of 1996 and Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which sets out minimum standards for the treatment of detainees in armed conflicts "not of an international character (e.g., civil wars, rebellions, and other conflicts between State and non-State actors).
Date: January 28, 2008
Creator: Garcia, Michael J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues

Description: This report examines policy issues surrounding detention of aliens, including concerns about the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention and the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Some have raised concerns about the length of time in detention for aliens who have been ordered removed. Additionally, issues have been raised about the amount of detention space available to house DHS detainees. Another area of uncertainty is the Attorney General’s role in the detention of noncitizens, since the creation of DHS.
Date: January 30, 2008
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Description: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .” This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally. It restricts government more in that it applies not only to Congress, but to all branches of the federal government, and to all branches of state and local government. It restricts government less in that it provides no protection to some types of speech and only limited protection to others. 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: November 20, 2002
Creator: Cohen, Henry
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

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: July 31, 2015
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Description: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .” This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally. It restricts government more in that it applies not only to Congress, but to all branches of the federal government, and to all branches of state and local government. It restricts government less in that it provides no protection to some types of speech and only limited protection to others. 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: November 5, 2001
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Description: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .” This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally. It restricts government more in that it applies not only to Congress, but to all branches of the federal government, and to all branches of state and local government. It restricts government less in that it provides no protection to some types of speech and only limited protection to others. 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: January 7, 2004
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detention of American Citizens as Enemy Combatants

Description: This report provides background information regarding the cases of two U.S. citizens deemed “enemy combatants,” Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been returned to Saudi Arabia, and Jose Padilla, who remains in military custody. A brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals is offered, followed by brief analyses of the main legal precedents invoked to support the President’s actions, as well as Ex parte Milligan, which some argue supports the opposite conclusion. The report concludes that historically, even during declared wars, additional statutory authority has been seen as necessary to validate the detention of citizens not members of any armed forces, casting in some doubt the argument that the power to detain persons arrested in a context other than actual hostilities is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force.
Date: February 24, 2005
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detention of American Citizens as Enemy Combatants

Description: This report provides background information regarding the cases of two U.S. citizens deemed “enemy combatants,” Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been returned to Saudi Arabia, and Jose Padilla, who remains in military custody. A brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals is offered, followed by brief analyses of the main legal precedents invoked to support the President’s actions, as well as Ex parte Milligan, which some argue supports the opposite conclusion. The report concludes that historically, even during declared wars, additional statutory authority has been seen as necessary to validate the detention of citizens not members of any armed forces, casting in some doubt the argument that the power to detain persons arrested in a context other than actual hostilities is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force.
Date: March 31, 2005
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detention of American Citizens as Enemy Combatants

Description: This report provides background information regarding the cases of two U.S. citizens deemed “enemy combatants,” Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been returned to Saudi Arabia, and Jose Padilla, who remains in military custody. The report addresses the constitutional and statutory sources that arguably provide authority for the detention of enemy combatants, as well as those that may prevent the exercise of that power with respect to U.S. citizens. The report concludes that historically, even during declared wars, additional statutory authority has been seen as necessary to validate the detention of citizens not members of any armed forces, casting in some doubt the argument that the power to detain is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force. Finally, the report briefly analyzes the Detention of Enemy Combatants Act, H.R. 1029, which would authorize the President to detain U.S. citizens and residents who are determined to be “enemy combatants” in certain circumstances.
Date: January 30, 2003
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detention of American Citizens as Enemy Combatants

Description: This report provides background information regarding the cases of two U.S. citizens deemed “enemy combatants,” Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been returned to Saudi Arabia, and Jose Padilla, who remains in military custody. The report addresses the constitutional and statutory sources that arguably provide authority for the detention of enemy combatants, as well as those that may prevent the exercise of that power with respect to U.S. citizens. The report concludes that historically, even during declared wars, additional statutory authority has been seen as necessary to validate the detention of citizens not members of any armed forces, casting in some doubt the argument that the power to detain is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force. Finally, the report briefly analyzes the Detention of Enemy Combatants Act, H.R. 1029, which would authorize the President to detain U.S. citizens and residents who are determined to be “enemy combatants” in certain circumstances.
Date: March 15, 2004
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
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

Freedom of Information Act Amendments: 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which was designed to enable any person — individual or corporate, regardless of citizenship — to request, without explanation or justification, presumptive access to existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records on any topic.
Date: February 25, 2005
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wireless Privacy and Spam: Issues for Congress

Description: Wireless communications devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are ubiquitous. Some consumers, already deluged with unwanted commercial messages, or “spam,” via computers that access the Internet by traditional wireline connections, are concerned that such unsolicited advertising is expanding to wireless communications, further eroding their privacy. Congress continues to debate how to protect wireless subscribers further, and several bills were considered in the 108th Congress.
Date: December 22, 2004
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Rule

Description: This report discuses the HIPAA privacy rule, which gives patients the right of access to their medical information and prohibits health plans and health care providers from using or disclosing individually identifiable health information without a patient’s written authorization except as expressly permitted or required by the rule.
Date: February 4, 2005
Creator: Redhead, C. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment: Buckley v. Valeo and its Supreme Court Progeny

Description: This report first discusses the critical holdings enunciated bythe SupremeCourt in Buckley, including those: upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court’s extension of Buckley in fifteen subsequent cases, evaluating them in three regulatory contexts: contribution limits (California Medical Association v. FEC; Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley; Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC; FEC v. Beaumont), expenditure limits (First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti; FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life; Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce; FEC v. National Right to Work; Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado I) v. FEC; FEC v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado II); FEC v. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; FEC v. National Conservative Political Action Committee), and disclosure requirements (Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation; Brown v. Socialist Workers ‘74 Campaign Committee; FEC v. Akins; McIntrye v. Ohio Elections Commission).
Date: August 28, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment: Buckley v. Valeo and its Supreme Court Progeny

Description: This report first discusses the critical holdings enunciated bythe SupremeCourt in Buckley, including those: upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court’s extension of Buckley in fifteen subsequent cases, evaluating them in three regulatory contexts: contribution limits (California Medical Association v. FEC; Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley; Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC; FEC v. Beaumont), expenditure limits (First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti; FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life; Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce; FEC v. National Right to Work; Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado I) v. FEC; FEC v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado II); FEC v. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; FEC v. National Conservative Political Action Committee), and disclosure requirements (Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation; Brown v. Socialist Workers ‘74 Campaign Committee; FEC v. Akins; McIntrye v. Ohio Elections Commission).
Date: July 9, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Courts Rulings During 1994 on Constitutional Taking Claims Against the United States

Description: In 1994, the second session of the 103rd Congress saw the political pressure exerted by property rights bills ascend new heights. Members supporting property rights legislation sought to add such provisions to nearly every major environmental bill. Opponents, including several committee chairmen, therefore declined to move the bills, and gridlock resulted.
Date: July 19, 1995
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities

Description: Congress has on several occasions delegated its power of eminent domain to entities outside the federal government -- public and private corporations, interstate compact agencies, state and local governments, and even individuals. The constitutionality of such delegation, and of the exercise of such power by even private delegates, is today beyond dispute. However, among delegates with both federal and private characteristics, there is some subjectivity to deciding which to list in a report limited to "nonfederal entities." For delegatees of federal eminent domain power listed here, delegations since 1920 have primarily been to Amtrak, hydroelectric facilities (for dams and reservoirs), and entities engaged in the movement of electricity, gas, and petroleum (the last one expired), and for interstate bridges.
Date: May 20, 2008
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department