Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Polygraph Testing: Employee and Employer Rights
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Internet: Status Report on Legislative Attempts to Protect Children from Unsuitable Material on the Web
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Internet: Status Report on Legislative Attempts to Protect Children from Unsuitable Material on the Web
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Terrorist Material Support: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. §2339A and §2339B
This report discusses the two federal material support statutes that have been at the heart of the Justice Department's terrorist prosecution efforts. One provision outlaws providing material support for the commission of certain designated offenses that might be committed by terrorists (18 U.S.C. 2339A); the other outlaws providing material support to certain designated terrorist organizations (18 U.S.C. 2339B). They share a common definition of the term "material support," some aspects of which have recently come under constitutional attack.
Gun Control, Mental Incompetency, and Social Security Administration Final Rule
This report discusses the Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution (H.J.Res. 40) passed by the House of Representative to overturn a final rule promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding implementation of firearms restrictions for certain persons.
Internet: Status Report on Legislative Attempts to Protect Children from Unsuitable Material on the Web
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Internet: Status Report on Legislative Attempts to Protect Children from Unsuitable Material on the Web
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Money Laundering: An Abridged Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1956 and Related Federal Criminal Law
Money laundering is a federal crime, commonly understood as the process of cleansing the taint from the proceeds of crime. This report describes in detail the various aspects of money laundering in regards to federal criminal law.
Victims' Rights Amendment in the 106th Congress: Overview of Suggestions to Amend the Constitution
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Victims' Rights Amendment: Proposals to Amend the United States Constitution in the 106th Congress
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Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy 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 related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy 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 related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
The Death Penalty: Capital Punishment Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report discusses legislation regarding the death penalty in the 109th Congress. The USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act (Reauthorization Act) contains a number of death penalty related provisions. Some create new federal capital offenses; some add the death penalty as a sentencing option in the case of preexisting federal crimes; some alter the procedural attributes of federal capital cases. Other proposals offered during the 109th Congress would have followed the same pattern: some new crimes; some new penalties for old crimes; and some procedural adjustments. Only one of the other proposals, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, passed, although at least one House approved several others. Three proposals do not fit the pattern; they either would have abolished the death penalty as a federal sentencing alternative or would have imposed a moratorium upon executions.
The Death Penalty: Capital Punishment Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report discusses legislation regarding the death penalty in the 109th Congress. The USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act (Reauthorization Act) contains a number of death penalty related provisions. Some create new federal capital offenses; some add the death penalty as a sentencing option in the case of preexisting federal crimes; some alter the procedural attributes of federal capital cases. Other proposals offered during the 109th Congress would have followed the same pattern: some new crimes; some new penalties for old crimes; and some procedural adjustments. Only one of the other proposals, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, passed, although at least one House approved several others. Three proposals do not fit the pattern; they either would have abolished the death penalty as a federal sentencing alternative or would have imposed a moratorium upon executions.
Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
Congress continues to debate the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. It is a contentious debate, with strong advocates for and against the further federal regulation of firearms. Gun control advocates argue that federal regulation of firearms curbs access by criminals, juveniles, and other "high-risk" individuals, among other things. Gun control opponents deny that federal policies keep firearms out of the hands of high-risk persons; rather, they argue, controls often create burdens for law-abiding citizens and infringe upon constitutional rights provided by the Second Amendment. This report describes the details of this ongoing debate, including several pieces of legislation related to the issue.
Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
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Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
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Gun Control Legislation in the 107th Congress
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Gun Control Legislation in the 107th Congress
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Gun Control Legislation in the 107th Congress
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Gun Control Legislation in the 108th Congress
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Gun Control Legislation in the 108th Congress
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Gun Control Legislation in the 108th Congress
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Gun Control Legislation in the 108th Congress
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Gun Control Legislation in the 108th Congress
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Gun Control Legislation in the 108th Congress
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Long-Range Fifty Caliber Rifles: Should They Be More Strictly Regulated?
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Krouse, William J.
Congress continues to debate the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. It is a contentious debate, with strong advocates for and against the further federal regulation of firearms. Gun control advocates argue that federal regulation of firearms curbs access by criminals, juveniles, and other "high-risk" individuals. Gun control opponents deny that federal policies keep firearms out of the hands of high-risk persons; rather, they argue, control often create burdens for law-abiding citizens and infringe upon constitutional rights provided by the Second Amendment. This report explores this issue in greater detail, including related legislation.
Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Statutes: An Overview of Legislation in the 106th Congress
This report discusses federal mandatory minimum sentencing statutes, which demand that execution or incarceration follow criminal conviction. They cover drug dealing, murdering federal officials, and using a gun to commit a federal crime. They circumscribe judicial sentencing discretion. They have been criticized as unthinkingly harsh and incompatible with a rational sentencing guideline system; yet they have also been embraced as hallmarks of truth in sentence and a certain means of incapacitating the criminally dangerous.
Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Statutes: An Overview of Legislation in the 107th Congress
This report examines legislation in the 107th Congress pertaining to federal mandatory minimum sentencing statutes (mandatory minimums), which demand that execution or incarceration follow criminal conviction. They cover drug dealing and using a gun to commit a federal crime, among other crimes.
Terrorism and Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in Criminal Cases: Recent Developments
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Terrorism and Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in Criminal Cases: Recent Developments in Brief
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Selected Federal Crime Control Assistance to State and Local Governments
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DNA Testing for Law Enforcement: Legislative Issues for Congress
DNA evidence is a powerful forensic tool in criminal cases. Its use and capabilities have increased substantially since it was first introduced in the late 1980s. That growth has led to the emergence of the following issues that were considered by the 106th Congress in legislative initiatives: eliminating the nationwide backlog of unanalyzed DNA samples, expanding the kinds of offenders who are profiled, providing opportunities for post-conviction testing of DNA evidence, and continuing development of forensic science capabilities. This report discusses those and related issues and the legislation proposed and enacted to address them. It begins by describing provisions in prior federal law and then discusses issues and the legislation proposed, including the enacted DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 (H.R. 4640, which became P.L. 106-546).
Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws
The federal computer fraud and abuse statute, 18 U.S.C. 1030, protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers used in interstate and foreign commerce. It shields them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. It is not a comprehensive provision, but instead it fills crack and gaps in the protection afforded by other federal criminal laws. This is a brief sketch of section 1030 and some of its federal statutory companions.
Immigration: Terrorist Grounds for Exclusion of Aliens
This report opens with an overview of the grounds for inadmissibility and summarizes key legislation enacted in recent years. The section on current law explains the legal definitions of "terrorist activity," "terrorist organization," and other security-related grounds for inadmissibility and analyzes the legal implications of these provisions. The report then discusses the alien screening process to identify possible terrorists during the visa issuance process abroad and the inspections process at U.S. ports of entry. Where relevant, the report also discusses how recently enacted legislation affects these matters.
Terrorism in South Asia
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Terrorism in South Asia
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Terrorism in South Asia
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Terrorism in South Asia
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Terrorist Capabilities for Cyberattack: Overview and Policy Issues
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Military Aviation: Issues and Options for Combating Terrorism and Counterinsurgency
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Operation Enduring Freedom: Foreign Pledges of Military and Intelligence Support
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Terrorists and Suicide Attacks
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Terrorist Financing: U.S. Agency Efforts and Inter-Agency Coordination
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Latin America: Terrorism Issues
In the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Latin American nations strongly condemned the attacks. This report outlines the U.S.-Latin American relationship in regards to terrorism, including several pieces of international counterterrorism legislation, including the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism and the Organization of American States.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
In the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Latin American nations strongly condemned the attacks. This report outlines the U.S.-Latin American relationship in regards to terrorism, including several pieces of international counterterrorism legislation, including the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism and the Organization of American States.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
In the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Latin American nations strongly condemned the attacks. This report outlines the U.S.-Latin American relationship in regards to terrorism, including several pieces of international counterterrorism legislation, including the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism and the Organization of American States.
Jonathan Pollard: Background and Considerations for Presidential Clemency
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Agroterrorism: Options in Congress
Although U.S. intelligence agencies have not identified any terrorist acts targeting agricultural production (i.e., agroterrorism) in the United States to date, the events of September 11, 2001 have awakened the nation to their possibility. Some experts estimate that a single agroterrorist attack using a highly contagious livestock disease could cost between $10 billion and $30 billion to the U.S. economy. This report examines the potential threats to America’s agriculture from a deliberate biological attack, describes the current defense structure and capabilities available to respond to agroterrorism, and analyzes current congressional proposals to address the threat of biological weapons to U.S. agriculture.