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Corporate Inversions: Frequently Asked Legal Questions
This report answers frequently-asked legal questions about corporate inversions. It answers questions relating to the scope and operation of Section 7874, including how key statutory terms have been interpreted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It discusses important Department of Treasury regulations that were finalized in 2015 and 2016, and answers questions about the IRS's authority to issue these regulations. Other questions that are answered relate to legislation introduced in the 114th Congress, the interaction of Section 7874 with tax treaties, and the imposition of an excise tax on corporate insiders who benefit from an inversion.
Banking Policy Issues in the 115th Congress
This report provides an overview of banking related issues of interest to the 115th Congress.
How Hard Should it Be to Bring a Class Action?
This report discusses the process of bringing a class action suit and the requirements plaintiffs are required to prove before one may be brought.
What is the Proposed U.S.-EU Insurance Covered Agreement?
This report discusses arrangement between the United States and European Union (EU), on the first insurance "covered agreement."
Post-Heller Second Amendment Jurisprudence
This report examines the scope of the Second Amendment, as interpreted by the federal circuit courts of appeals, after the watershed Supreme Court decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.
Six Justice Court to Decide Liability of Officials for Post 9/11 Detention
This report discusses a Supreme Court case regarding whether men detained after 9/11 by federal authorities can sue the individual officials involved in their arrest and detainment that was due to be heard by a six justice court due to the death of Justice Scalia and the recusements of two other justices.
Financial Regulation: Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations and the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10)
This report discusses the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) and the FY 2018 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3354, Division D). The Senate Appropriations Committee released an FY2018 FSGG chairmen's mark on November 20, 2017, but further action has yet to occur on the bill. Much of the federal government, including agencies covered by FSGG appropriations, has been operating for the first part of FY2018 under a continuing resolution effective through December 8, 2017.
The Federal Grand Jury
This report discusses the federal grand jury, which exists to investigate crimes against the United States and to secure the constitutional right of grand jury indictment.
Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues
An "immigration detainer" is a document by which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) advises other law enforcement agencies of its interest in individual aliens whom these agencies are detaining. This report surveys the various authorities governing immigration detainers, including the standard detainer form (Form I-247) sent by ICE to other law enforcement agencies. The report also discusses key legal issues raised by immigration detainers.
U.S.-EU Cooperation on Ukraine and Russia
This report examines the U.S. and EU reactions to the crisis in Ukraine, focusing on the EU's hesitation to issue severe sanctions on par with the U.S. prior to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The report discusses the EU's new, wider-ranging sanctions in the wake of MH17 and its implications on U.S.-EU relations.
Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties
Granting Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status requires a change in law because Russia is prohibited from receiving unconditional and permanent NTR under Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974. This provision includes the so-called Jackson-Vanik amendment. Extension of PNTR has implications for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). This report examines this legislative issue in the context of Russian accession to the WTO and U.S.-Russian economic ties.
U.S. Sanctions on Burma
This report provides a brief history of U.S. policy towards Burma and the development of U.S. sanctions, a topical summary of those sanctions, and an examination of additional sanctions that have been considered, but not enacted, by Congress, or that could be imposed under existing law or executive orders. The report concludes with a discussion of options for Congress.
Tort Suits Against Federal Contractors: An Overview of the Legal Issues
This report provides an overview of key legal issues that have been raised to date in recent tort suits against government contractors. Most of these issues pertain to jurisdiction, or the court’s power over the parties or subject matter of the case. A number of cases are pending that could affect courts’ treatment of the issues discussed here.
Judicial Discipline Process: An Overview
The first part of this report covers the process for handling complaints against federal judges and judicial discipline, which was enacted on November 2, 2002 as the Judicial Improvements Act of 2002. The second part of this report covers two impeachments during the 111th Congress, those of Judge Samuel B. Kent and Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr.
District Court Enjoins DACA Phase-out: Explanation and Takeaways
This report is an update of a previous report regarding DACA's phase-out and discusses court injunctions preventing the the phase-out of DACA benefits for those already enrolled and a decision by a Maryland federal court which prevents the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from using personal information found in DACA applications for law enforcement purposes except by permission of the court in uses needed for national security, public safety, or the public interest.
Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?
This report focuses on enforcement of federal environmental pollution control requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA); the Clean Water Act (CWA); the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund); and other statutes for which EPA is the primary federal implementing agency.1 The report provides a brief synopsis of the statutory framework that serves as the basis for pollution control enforcement, including an overview of the key players responsible for correcting violations and maintaining compliance. Implementation and enforcement of pollution control laws are interdependent and carried out by a wide range of actors including federal, state, tribal, and local governments; the regulated entities themselves; the courts; interest groups; and the general public.
Intellectual Property Rights Violations: Federal Civil Remedies and Criminal Penalties Related to Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents
This report provides information describing the federal civil remedies and criminal penalties that may be available as a consequence of violations of the federal intellectual property laws: the Copyright Act of 1976, the Patent Act of 1952, and the Trademark Act of 1946 (conventionally known as the Lanham Act).
Pharmaceutical Patent-Antitrust: Reverse Payment Settlements and Product Hopping
This report introduces and analyzes innovation and competition policy issues associated with the pharmaceutical industry. It begins with a review of the Hatch-Waxman Act and its implications upon the availability of generic substitutes for brand-name medications. The report then turns to a basic review of the antitrust law. It then addresses judicial developments with respect to reverse payment settlements and product hopping. The report closes with a summary of congressional issues and possible alternatives.
Implementation of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Amendments (P.L. 114-182)
This report summarizes select EPA actions to implement the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) amendments over the past year since their passage on June 22, 2016 as a part of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for 21st Century Act (P.L. 114-182). Brief discussions and lists of various chemicals that are being evaluated or have been evaluated under the law are included.
Update: What Constitutes "Sexual Abuse of a Minor" For Immigration Purposes
This report provides an update of an earlier report from April 6, 2017, providing the final decision by the Supreme Court in the case of "Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions". The case concerned the question of whether an immigrant alien who was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor where the minor was under 18 but at least 16 (in this case statutory rape in California between a 21 year old male and a 17 year female) was removable for an aggravated felony under immigration law. The Supreme Court ruled that the immigration law required the victim be under 16 before the removal of an alien for an aggravated felony would be allowable.
Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures
This report discusses the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) responsibilities in regard to immigration-related worksite enforcement, or enforcement of the prohibitions on unauthorized employment in Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA §274A provisions, sometimes referred to as employer sanctions, make it unlawful for an employer to knowingly hire, recruit or refer for a fee, or continue to employ an alien who is not authorized to be so employed. This report looks at enforcement measures of this act.
Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development
This report discusses moratoria measures for the outer continental shelf (OCS) which establish bans or restrictions on oil and gas exploration and development in federal ocean areas. It includes a background of offshore oil and gas development, the sources of U.S. moratorium policy, the background of ocean governance, U.S. moratoria in international areas, and related issues for Congress.
The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: Selected Opinions on the Jury's Role in Criminal Sentencing
This report discusses Justice John Paul Stevens' opinions on the Jury's role in criminal sentencing. Justice Stevens has played a critical role in the Supreme Court's interpretation of a jury's role in criminal sentencing. In 2000, he wrote the majority opinion for the Court in Apprendi v. New Jersey, a landmark case in which the Court held that a judge typically may not increase a sentence beyond the range prescribed by statute unless the increase is based on facts determined by a jury "beyond a reasonable doubt." In 2005, he wrote one of two majority opinions in United States v. Booker, in which the Court applied the Apprendi rule to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. In those two cases and in several other cases on this issue during the past few decades, Justice Stevens has been a leading voice, articulating a broad interpretation of the jury trial and due process rights at issue.
U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas
This report examines U.S. oil and natural gas production data for federal and non-federal areas with an emphasis on the past six years of production.
Federal Permitting and Oversight of Export of Fossil Fuels
This report reviews federal laws and the regulatory regime governing the export of natural gas, crude oil, and coal. This report provides an overview of federal laws and regulations and agency roles in authorizing and regulating the export of these fossil fuels.
Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities
The purpose of this report is to describe and discuss the provisions for providing abortion services to military personnel, their dependents, and other military health care beneficiaries at military medical facilities. The report describes the history of these provisions, with particular emphasis on legislative actions. Finally, this report discusses a number of proposals to modify the law, as well as other related legislative and administrative actions.
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has, to date, opened cases exclusively in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Statute of the ICC, also known as the Rome Statute, entered into force on July 1, 2002, and established a permanent, independent Court to investigate and bring to justice individuals who commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. As of October 2010, 114 countries-including 31 African countries, the largest regional block-were parties to the Statute. The United States is not a party. This report provides background on current ICC cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Some general issues include Arctic territorial disputes; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic, which could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report provides background on the agreement negotiated by Iran and six other countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1) regarding Iran's nuclear program, and discusses the implications for U.S.-Iran relations.
Energy Tax Policy: Historical Perspectives on and Current Status of Energy Tax Expenditures
This report examines how current revenue losses resulting from energy tax provisions compare to historical losses and provides a foundation for understanding how current energy tax policy evolved by providing a longitudinal perspective on energy tax policy and expenditures.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues.
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress
The use of biomass as an energy feedstock is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy, crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. Most legislation involving biomass has focused on encouraging the production of liquid fuels from corn. For over 30 years, the term biomass has been a part of legislation enacted by Congress for various programs, indicating some interest by the general public and policymakers in expanding its use. To aid understanding of why U.S. consumers, utility groups, refinery managers, and others have not fully adopted biomass as an energy resource, this report investigates the characterization of biomass in legislation.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and, in so doing, provides examples, based on a wide range of open source reporting, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran.
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses the recent development regarding the negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program. It provides background information on Iranian nuclear program and debates the November 24 Joint Plan of Action Elements.
Iran Sanctions
There appears to be a growing international consensus to adopt progressively strict economic sanctions against Iran to try to compel it to compromise on its further nuclear development. The U.S. view - increasingly shared by major allies-is that sanctions should target Iran's energy sector, which provides about 80% of government revenues, and try to isolate Iran from the international financial system. U.S. efforts to curb international energy investment in Iran's energy sector began in 1996 with the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). ISA has been expanded significantly in 2010. This report discusses said expansions, provides background on the ISA, and explores how this Act has affected
Securing America's Borders: The Role of the Intelligence Community
Maintaining the security of U.S. borders is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government. This report discusses the contribution of intelligence agencies to the border security efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies that work in cooperation with state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Much of the intelligence community's border security-related efforts are classified, however.
Mexican Migration to the United States: Policy and Trends
History and geography have given Mexico a unique status in the U.S. immigration system, and have made the Mexico-U.S. migration flow the largest in the world. Mexicans are the largest group of U.S. migrants across most types of immigration statuses—a fact that may have important implications for how Congress makes U.S. immigration policy. This report reviews the history of immigration policy and migration flows between the countries and the demographics of Mexicans within the United States. It also analyzes contemporary issues in U.S. immigration policy and the impact Mexico may have on U.S. immigration outcomes.
A U.S.-centric Chronology of the International Climate Change Negotiations
The Copenhagen conference in December 2009 achieved only mandates to continue negotiating toward the next Conference of the Parties (COP) to be held in Mexico City in December 2010. As a background to these proceedings, this document provides a U.S.-centric chronology of the international policy deliberations to address climate change from 1979-2009. Negotiations underway since 2007 have run on two tracks, the Kyoto Protocol the Convention under the Bali Action Plan. Many in the U.S. Congress are concerned with the goals and obligations that a treaty or other form of agreement might embody. For U.S. legislators, additional issues include the compatibility of any international agreement with U.S. domestic policies and laws; the adequacy of appropriations, fiscal measures, and programs to achieve any commitments under the agreement; and the desirable form of the agreement and related requirements, with a view toward potential Senate ratification of the agreement and federal legislation to assure that U.S. commitments are met.
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond
This report begins with a brief discussion of security challenges in Mexico and Mexico's security strategy. It then provides updated information on congressional funding and oversight of the Mérida Initiative before delving into its four pillars. The report concludes by raising policy issues that Congress may wish to consider as it continues to fund and oversee the Mérida Initiative and broader U.S.-Mexican security cooperation.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of the situation in the Arctic region. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region.