Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Military Personnel and Freedom of Religion: Selected Legal Issues
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.
Racial Profiling: Legal and Constitutional Issues
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.
Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage: Implications for Religious Objections
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.
Sex Discrimination and the United States Supreme Court: Developments in the Law
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.
Title IX and Sex Discrimination in Education: An Overview
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.
U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques
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.
Equal Rights Amendment (Proposed)
The proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was first introduced in 1923, and was passed by the Congress in 1972. In 1978, Congress extended the original deadline for ratification of the ERA. Thus, if it receives approval in the form of ratification by 38 States before June 30, 1982, the measure will become the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, and will require equal treatment under Federal and State laws and practices for all persons, regardless of sex.
Civil Rights Commission Reauthorization
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.
Equal Rights Amendment (Proposed)
The proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was first introduced in 1923, and was passed by the Congress in 1972. In 1978, Congress extended the original deadline for ratification of the ERA. Thus, if it receives approval in the form of ratification by 38 States before June 30, 1982, the measure will become the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, and will require equal treatment under Federal and State laws and practices for all persons, regardless of sex.
The Proposed Equal Rights Amendment
No Description Available.
Prohibiting Discrimination Against Handicapped Individuals in Federally Aided Programs: Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, As Amended
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Civil Rights of Individuals with Disabilities: The Opinions of Judge Alito
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.
Civil Rights Opinions of U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito: A Legal Overview
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.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The Definition of Disability
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.
Equal Rights Amendments: State Provisions
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.
The 2009 U.N. Durban Review Conference: Follow-Up to the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism
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.
Legal Right of Minors to Obtain Contraceptives
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U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques
No Description Available.
U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques
No Description Available.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)".
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Employment: A Legal Analysis of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)
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 U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
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 U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
This report addresses CEDAW's background, objectives, and structure and provides an overview of U.S. policy toward the Convention. It examines issues that have been raised in the U.S. ratification debate, including the treaty's impact on U.S. sovereignty, the effectiveness of the Convention, and its possible use as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy. It also describes controversial provisions and CEDAW Committee recommendations addressing the role of women in society and women's equal access to education and healthcare.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
In 1993, after many months of study, debate, and political controversy, Congress passed and President Clinton signed legislation establishing a revised "[p]olicy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces." The new legislation reflected a compromise regarding the U.S. military's policy toward members of the armed forces who engage in homosexual conduct. This compromise, colloquially referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)," holds that "[t]he presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability." Service members are not to be asked about, nor allowed to discuss, their sexual orientation. This compromise notwithstanding, the issue has remained both politically and legally contentious. This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against DADT.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
In 1993, after many months of study, debate, and political controversy, Congress passed and President Clinton signed legislation establishing a revised "[p]olicy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces." The new legislation reflected a compromise regarding the U.S. military's policy toward members of the armed forces who engage in homosexual conduct. This compromise, colloquially referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)," holds that "[t]he presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability." Service members are not to be asked about, nor allowed to discuss, their sexual orientation. This compromise notwithstanding, the issue has remained both politically and legally contentious. This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against DADT.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT).
The "Militarization" of Law Enforcement and the Department of Defense's "1033 Program
This report discusses the response of SWAT teams to extraordinary cases that has raised questions about the so called "militarization" of law enforcement.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)".
The Millennium Development Goals: The September 2010 U.N. High-level Meeting
This report discusses overarching trends in Millennium Development Goals (MDG) progress and lessons learned from previous and ongoing efforts to achieve them. The MDGs are a group of measurable development targets agreed to by 189 U.N. member states - including the United States - as part of the 2000 Millennium Declaration. The MDGs cover a number of issues, such as eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, combating HIV/AIDS, and promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. This report examines U.S. policy toward the MDGs and how, if at all, the Goals fit into U.S. development and foreign assistance policy. It also examines different schools of thought regarding the effectiveness of the Goals, their role in international development, and their long-term sustainability. This report addresses the MDGs as a whole; it does not assess or analyze issues pertaining to the individual Goals.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Congressional Issues
This report provides an overview of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and describes its background, objectives, and structure, including the role of the Convention's monitoring body, the CEDAW Committee. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Congressional Issues
This report provides an overview of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and describes its background, objectives, and structure, including the role of the Convention's monitoring body, the CEDAW Committee. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
This report provides background on genetic information, legal implications regarding the use of this information, and relevant laws. It also discusses the statutory provisions of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
This report provides an overview of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and describes its background, objectives, and structure, including the role of the Convention's monitoring body, the CEDAW Committee. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
This report provides an overview of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and describes its background, objectives, and structure, including the role of the Convention's monitoring body, the CEDAW Committee. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
This report provides an overview of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and describes its background, objectives, and structure. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
Homosexuals and the U.S. Military: Current Issues
This report examines the "don't ask, don't tell," policy in the U.S. military. "Don't ask, don't tell," holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. Service members are not to be asked about nor allowed to discuss their homosexuality.
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
The Senate may consider providing its advice and consent to U.S. ratification of the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, or the Convention) during the 112th Congress. CEDAW is the only international human rights treaty that specifically addresses the rights of women. This report provides an overview of CEDAW's background, objectives, and structure, including the role of the Convention's monitoring body, the CEDAW Committee. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
This report provides an overview of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and describes its background, objectives, and structure, including the role of the Convention's monitoring body, the CEDAW Committee. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
Homosexuals and the U.S. Military: Current Issues
This report examines "don't ask, don't tell," policy in the U.S. military. "Don't ask, don't tell," holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. Service members are not to be asked about nor allowed to discuss their homosexuality.
Homosexuals and U.S. Military Policy: Current Issues
This report discusses policy towards homosexuals in the U.S. military service. In 1993, new laws and regulations pertaining to homosexuals and U.S. military service came into effect reflecting a compromise in policy. This compromise, colloquially referred to as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. Service members are not to be asked about nor allowed to discuss their homosexuality. This compromise notwithstanding, the issue has remained politically contentious.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
This report provides background on genetic information, legal implications regarding the use of this information, and relevant laws. It also discusses the statutory provisions of GINA and the regulations regarding both health insurance and employment.
Handicapped Infants: The Final Section 504 Regulation and Legislative Proposals
This report discusses the final rule regarding handicapped infants published in the Federal register by HHS on January 12, 1984. Legislative action in response to the Infant Doe issue is also discussed.
Homosexuals and U.S. Military Policy: Current Issues
This report discusses policy towards homosexuals in the U.S. military service. In 1993, new laws and regulations pertaining to homosexuals and U.S. military service came into effect reflecting a compromise in policy. This compromise, colloquially referred to as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. Service members are not to be asked about nor allowed to discuss their homosexuality. This compromise notwithstanding, the issue has remained politically contentious.
U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques
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.
The War Crimes Act: Current Issues
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).
Sex Discrimination in Education: Overview of Title IX
No Description Available.
The Pigford Case: USDA Settlement of a Discrimination Suit by Black Farmers
No Description Available.
The Pigford Case: USDA Settlement of a Discrimination Suit by Black Farmers
No Description Available.
Metropolitan School Desegregation
No Description Available.
Sex Discrimination in Education: Title IX
No Description Available.