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International Law and Agreements: Their Effect upon U.S. Law

Description: This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. The report discusses forms of international agreements and the effects of international agreements on U.S. law.
Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Obstruction of Justice: An Abridged Overview of Related Federal Criminal Laws

Description: This report briefly discusses obstruction of justice, which is defined as the frustration of governmental purposes by violence, corruption, destruction of evidence, or deceit. This is an abridged version of CRS Report RL34304, Obstruction of Justice: An Overview of Some of the Federal Statutes That Prohibit Interference with Judicial, Executive, or Legislative Activities, by Charles Doyle, without the footnotes, quotations, or citations to authority found in the longer report.
Date: April 17, 2014
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Independent Counsels, Special Prosecutors, Special Counsels, and the Role of Congress

Description: Report that provides information on the procedure for the appointment of an "independent counsel," a "special prosecutor," or a "special counsel" to investigate and prosecute potential or possible violations of federal criminal law by officials in the executive branch of the federal government and in federal agencies.
Date: June 20, 2013
Creator: Maskell, Jack
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electricity Restructuring and the Constitutionality of Retail Reciprocity Requirements

Description: Retail reciprocity requirements have been included in the electricity restructuring legislation of at least four states. These requirements mandate generally that out-of-state utilities which operate in a state “closed” to retail competition cannot market power to retail consumers in the “open” state. Because state reciprocity requirements enacted without congressional authorization are probably unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Congress would have to include a reciprocity provision in federal electricity restructuring legislation if it wants to support the view that such a provision will increase competition. This report reviews the treatment of state reciprocity requirements by the U.S. Supreme Court and discusses Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause.
Date: March 9, 2000
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Digital Rights" and Fair Use in Copyright Law

Description: This report examines judicial case law which has considered the doctrine of fair use in relation to the First Amendment, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and as a means of protecting private, noncommercial use of digital music and film by consumers. It concludes that when the potential to infringe is great, as it almost always will be in a digital environment, the courts have not been willing to expand fair use to encompass subsidiary uses such as time shifting, space shifting, or personal noncommercial use.
Date: March 24, 2003
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Constitutionality of Requiring Sexually Explicit Material on the Internet to be Under a Separate Domain Name

Description: It is unclear whether making a “.xxx” domain mandatory would violate the First Amendment. Some propose making use of a “.xxx” domain voluntary, but others propose that Congress make it mandatory. The latter proposal raises the question whether a mandatory separate domain would violate the First Amendment, and this report focuses on that question.
Date: January 3, 2006
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure

Description: This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. It also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Date: May 8, 2014
Creator: Garvey, Todd & Dolan, Alissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure

Description: This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. It also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Date: April 10, 2014
Creator: Garvey, Todd & Dolan, Alissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure

Description: This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. In addition, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally based limitations on the power. Finally, the report includes a discussion of the significance of the House Judiciary Committee dispute with the White House over the dismissal of several U.S. Attorneys that resulted in votes for criminal contempt of Congress and the United States District Court opinion in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers.
Date: May 8, 2012
Creator: Garvey, Todd & Dolan, Alissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure

Description: This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. The report also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information-access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Date: August 17, 2012
Creator: Garvey, Todd
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Responsibility Determinations Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Legal Standards and Procedures

Description: This report discusses the standards and procedures that federal agencies use in making responsibility determinations under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). As a general rule, government agencies contract with the lowest qualified responsible bidder or offeror. Responsibility is an attribute of the contractor, while price and qualifications are attributes of the bid or offer. Under the FAR, "[n]o purchase or award shall be made unless the contracting officer makes an affirmative determination of responsibility."
Date: August 18, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Primer on the Reviewability of Agency Delay and Enforcement Discretion

Description: This report discusses the general legal principles applied in determining whether administrative delays are reviewable in court in these two different contexts and then address whether the procedures outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) are applicable to these delays.
Date: September 4, 2014
Creator: Shedd, Daniel T. & Garvey, Todd
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Offices of Inspectors General and Law Enforcement Authority: In Brief

Description: This report identifies the laws and regulations that vest certain offices of inspector general (OIGs) with law enforcement authority, which permits the use of guns and ammunition. This report also describes some of the requirements and expectations of OIGs that have law enforcement authority, and includes some reasons that OIGs have expressed a need for law enforcement authority.
Date: September 8, 2014
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conducting Foreign Relations Without Authority: The Logan Act

Description: This report discusses the Logan Act, which was intended to prohibit United States citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments.
Date: January 20, 2010
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy and Water Development: FY2010 Appropriations

Description: This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Date: August 26, 2009
Creator: Behrens, Carl E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy and Water Development: FY2010 Appropriations

Description: This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Date: January 5, 2010
Creator: Behrens, Carl E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Enforcement: Legal Issues

Description: This report begins by discussing the sources of federal power to regulate immigration and, particularly, the allocation of power between Congress and the President in this area. It next addresses the constitutional and other foundations for the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion, as well as the potential ways in which prosecutorial discretion may be exercised in the immigration context. It concludes by addressing potential constitutional, statutory, and administrative constraints upon the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
Date: January 17, 2013
Creator: Manuel, Kate M. & Garvey, Todd
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Abortion Procedures

Description: The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997, H.R. 1122 was vetoed by President Clinton on October 10, 1997. This legislation would have made it a federal crime, punishable by fine and/or incarceration, for a physician to perform a partial birth abortion unless it was necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury. The partial-birth abortion legislation has stimulated a great deal of controversy. This report provides a brief overview of the abortion methods currently in use for which data have been published and some positions on the partial birth abortion legislation.
Date: November 17, 1997
Creator: Stith-Coleman, Irene
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Citizen Control Over Records Held by Third Parties

Description: The United States has become an information society. Government at every level and private industry have been collecting and using more personal information about individuals in the last several years than ever before. The Congress has been aware of this trend, and of the potencia1 for misuse of the information so collected; it has enacted several laws that protect the personal privacy of individuals, and respect the confidentiality of the information maintained about individuals by third parties. In this report, several privacy laws are summarized, and key provisions of each are compared, in order to make individual citizens aware of their rights , responsibilities and remedies under the law.
Date: December 8, 1978
Creator: Collins, Sarah P
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Arbitration Act: Background and Recent Developments

Description: Enacted in 1925, the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) seeks to ensure the validity and enforcement of arbitration agreements in any “maritime transaction or . . . contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce.” In general, the FAA evidences a national policy favoring arbitration. However, the application of the FAA to various types of arbitration agreements has been the subject of numerous lawsuits. This report provides a brief legislative history of the FAA, as well as a review of selected cases that have interpreted the FAA. The report also discusses bills introduced during the 108th Congress that would amend the FAA to address the use of arbitration to resolve employment and specific contract disputes.
Date: August 15, 2003
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department