Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse


Religion and the Workplace: Legal Analysis of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as It Applies to Religion and Religious Organizations

Description: This report reviews the scope of Title VII as it applies to religion and religious organizations and the requirements of the anti-discrimination protections and the accommodations provision. It also analyzes the exemptions available to religious organizations for the non-discrimination rules.
Date: January 20, 2011
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civil Rights Legislation: Responses to Grove City College v. Bell

Description: This report discusses how broad should the coverage of Federal civil rights laws be? This was the central issue in the debate over legislation introduced in response to the February 1984 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Grove City College v. Bell.
Date: May 27, 1988
Creator: Lyke, Robert F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Redistricting and the Voting Rights Act: A Legal Overview

Description: This report provides a legal overview of two key provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) affecting congressional redistricting — Sections 2 and 5 — and selected accompanying Supreme Court case law. It examines a pending Supreme Court case, Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, challenging the constitutionality of Section 5. It also provides a summary of selected legislation in the 112th and 113th Congresses that would establish additional requirements and standards for congressional redistricting.
Date: April 2, 2013
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Overview of Selected Federal Criminal Civil Rights Statutes

Description: Federal criminal civil rights laws impose criminal penalties for deprivation of certain federal rights, privileges, or immunities. These laws prohibit hate crimes based on race, color, religion, or national origin; the burning of places of worship; violence against health care providers; and the transport of persons (particularly women and children) for the purpose of enslavement or forced labor. Some of these laws require a discriminatory motivation while others, such as human trafficking, do not. Some cover offenders acting "under color of any law." The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigates alleged violations. Punishments can range from a fine to lifetime imprisonment; in some cases the death penalty may be imposed, depending upon the circumstances and the resulting injury, if any. This report provides a brief summary of selected federal criminal civil right statutes.
Date: December 16, 2014
Creator: Smith, Alison M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Employment: A Legal Analysis of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

Description: This report discusses issues surrounding the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on an individual's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by public and private employers in hiring, discharge, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment. The stated purpose of the legislation is "to address the history and widespread pattern of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by private sector employers and local, State, and Federal Government employers," as well as to provide effective remedies for such discrimination. Patterned on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the act would be enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Date: June 8, 2012
Creator: Jody Feder & Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Personnel and Freedom of Religion: Selected Legal Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of the requirements of the First Amendment related to military personnel's religious exercise. It analyzes current constitutional and statutory requirements regarding religious exercise, and provides a framework for how Congress and the courts might consider future issues that arise related to service members' religious exercise. Specifically, the report examines the limitations placed on service members in uniform in the exercise of their religious beliefs. It also examines the role of military chaplains and the legal challenges associated with publicly funding religious personnel. The report analyzes efforts by Congress and the Department of Defense to address the constitutional concerns that are raised by these issues.
Date: February 1, 2011
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck & Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Racial Profiling: Legal and Constitutional Issues

Description: Racial profiling is the practice of targeting individuals for police or security detention based on their race or ethnicity in the belief that certain minority groups are more likely to engage in unlawful behavior. Examples of racial profiling by law enforcement agencies suggest that minorities are disproportionately the subject of security-related practices. The issue has periodically attracted congressional interest and several courts have considered the constitutional ramifications of the practice as an "unreasonable search and seizure" under the Fourth Amendment and, more recently, as a denial of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection guarantee. A variety of federal and state statutes provide potential relief to individuals who claim that their rights are violated by race-based law enforcement practices and policies.
Date: April 16, 2012
Creator: Feder, Jody
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage: Implications for Religious Objections

Description: The U.S. Supreme Court's highly anticipated decision in Obergefell v. Hodges recognized federal constitutional protection for same-sex marriage. This report will analyze a range of legal issues for which Obergefell has implications.
Date: October 23, 2015
Creator: Brown, Cynthia & Lunder, Erika K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sex Discrimination and the United States Supreme Court: Developments in the Law

Description: This report focuses on sex discrimination challenges based on: the equal protection guarantees of the Fourteenth and Fifth Amendments; the prohibition against employment discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and the prohibition against sex discrimination in education contained in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Date: December 30, 2015
Creator: Feder, Jody
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Title IX and Sex Discrimination in Education: An Overview

Description: This report provides an overview of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the various aspects of education affected by this law. Although Title IX has been only partially successful in eliminating sex discrimination in education, the effects of this legislation have been far-reaching.
Date: March 4, 2004
Creator: Galemore, Gary L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques

Description: This report discusses the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) requires signatory parties to take measures to end torture within their territorial jurisdiction and to criminalize all acts of torture.
Date: November 7, 2005
Creator: Garcia, Michael J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civil Rights of Individuals with Disabilities: The Opinions of Judge Alito

Description: Judge Samuel Alito Jr. was nominated by President Bush to the U.S. Supreme Court on October 31, 2005. This report examines the opinions written by Judge Alito relating to civil rights for individuals with disabilities and includes a discussion of cases relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Fair Housing Amendments Act. In addition, Judge Alito’s federalism decisions are briefly analyzed and their potential impact on disability related issues is discussed. Decisions authored by Judge Alito, as well as selected dissents and decisions where he joined the majority are examined.
Date: December 2, 2005
Creator: Jones, Nancy Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civil Rights Opinions of U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito: A Legal Overview

Description: During his 15 years as a federal appellate judge on the Third Circuit, Judge Alito has written for the majority, concurred, or dissented in several cases alleging discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other prohibited grounds. His legal positions in these cases have varied, depending on the facts and law being applied, and defy rigid or facile classification. Nonetheless, some continuity in judicial approach, both substantive and procedural, may arguably be discerned from a review of several of his significant opinions.
Date: December 12, 2005
Creator: Dale, Charles V
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The Definition of Disability

Description: The threshold issue in any Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) case is whether the individual alleging discrimination is an individual with a disability. The ADA definition is a functional one and does not list specific disabilities. This report discusses the definition of "disability." It also briefly discusses the Supreme Court's opinions and analyze how the lower courts are interpreting the Supreme Court's holdings.
Date: March 9, 2006
Creator: Jones, Nancy Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Equal Rights Amendments: State Provisions

Description: Twenty states adopted state equal rights amendments between 1879 and 1998. The texts of most of these amendments either are similar to the proposed federal amendment or restate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The timing of the enactment of these state amendments and the choice of wording reflect both the ebb and flow of the women's movement in the United States and the political culture of the particular states at the time of passage. A brief history of the women's rights movement as it relates to the passage of state equal rights amendments is included. The report ends with the text and the date of enactment of each amendment.
Date: August 23, 2004
Creator: Gladstone, Leslie W
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The 2009 U.N. Durban Review Conference: Follow-Up to the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism

Description: This report provides information on the 2001 World Conference Against Racism and the circumstances of U.S. withdrawal. It discusses preparations for the Durban Review Conference, including U.S. policy and reaction from other governments. It highlights possible issues for the 111th Congress, including the Review Conference preparatory process, U.S. funding of the Conference, and the political and diplomatic impact of U.S. engagement.
Date: November 20, 2008
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civil Rights Commission Reauthorization

Description: The Civil Rights Commission Act of 1998 (H.R. 3117) would reauthorize the commission through FY2001. It was introduced by Representative Canady on January 28, 1998, referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and reported with an amendment on March 2, 1998. It passed the House, amended, by voice vote on March 18.
Date: April 10, 1998
Creator: Gladstone, Leslie W
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department