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.
This report (1) summarizes provisions of several laws and regulations, including the Patent Law, the Atomic Energy Act, International Traffic in Arms Control regulations, the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56), the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and the Homeland Security Act (P.L. 107-296), that permit the federal government to restrict disclosure of scientific and technical information that could harm national security; (2) describes the development of federal controls on “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) scientific and technical information; (3) summarizes current controversies about White House policy on “Sensitive But Unclassified Information,” and “Sensitive Homeland Security Information” (SHSI) issued in March 2002; and (4) identifies controversial issues which might affect the development of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency guidelines for sensitive unclassified information, which are expected to be released during 2003.
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.
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