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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

Energy and Water Development: FY2014 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: November 1, 2013
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

Military Justice: Courts-Martial, an Overview

Description: This report gives a detailed overview of the military court-martial system, including a discussion of the three types of court-martials: summary, special, and general. It includes a chart showing procedural safeguards in federal and military courts.
Date: August 12, 2013
Creator: Mason, Chuck R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Sense of" Resolutions and Provisions

Description: This report discusses the "Sense of" resolutions, which are considered under the normal legislative processes of each chamber applicable to any other legislative vehicle.
Date: March 11, 2013
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses

Description: This report first explores the potential uses of drones in the domestic sphere by federal, state, and local governments. It then surveys current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, including cases surrounding privacy in the home, privacy in public spaces, location tracking, manned aerial surveillance, and those involving the national border. Next, it considers how existing jurisprudence may inform current and proposed drone uses. It then describes the various legislative measures introduced in the 113th Congress to address the legal and policy issues surrounding drones. Finally, it briefly identifies several alternative approaches that may constrain the potential scope of drone surveillance.
Date: April 3, 2013
Creator: Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues

Description: This report describes the regulatory framework for permitting the use of unmanned vehicles and the potential rulemaking that will occur over the next few years. It also discusses theories of takings and property torts as they relate to drone flights over or near private property and the privacy interests implicated by drone surveillance conducted by private actors and the potential countervailing First Amendment rights to gather and receive news. Finally, this report explores possible congressional responses to these privacy concerns, discusses how the FAA has approached these concerns, and identifies additional potential legal issues.
Date: January 30, 2013
Creator: Dolan, Alissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program

Description: This report examines the program's origin and development, including the decision to (1) supplement the original Prior Approval Program with the Preferred Surety Bond Guarantee Program that provides a lower guarantee rate (70%) than the Prior Approval Program (80% or 90%) in exchange for allowing preferred sureties to issue SBA-guaranteed surety bonds without the SBA's prior approval; and (2) increase the program's bond limit.
Date: December 11, 2013
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues

Description: This report describes the regulatory framework for permitting the use of unmanned vehicles and the potential rulemaking that will occur over the next few years. It also discusses theories of takings and property torts as they relate to drone flights over or near private property and the privacy interests implicated by drone surveillance conducted by private actors and the potential countervailing First Amendment rights to gather and receive news. Finally, this report explores possible congressional responses to these privacy concerns, discusses how the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approached these concerns, and identifies additional potential legal issues.
Date: April 4, 2013
Creator: Dolan, Alissa M. & Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Overview of Judicial Review of Immigration Matters

Description: This report will summarize judicial review for immigration matters, including visa denials and revocations; removal orders and detention; naturalization delays, denials, and revocations; expatriation; and legalization denials. Administrative adjudications such as removal proceedings or determination of immigration benefits such as naturalization are beyond the scope of this report.
Date: September 11, 2013
Creator: Mikyung Lee, Margaret
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Brief History of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Efforts in the 109th and 110th Congresses to Inform Policy Discussions in the 113th Congress

Description: This report opens with brief legislative histories of "comprehensive immigration reform" (CIR) in the 109th and 110th Congresses. A comparative overview of key CIR provisions in the three bills that received floor action in the 109th and 110th Congresses follows. In addition to a narrative discussion of how the bills addressed the main provisions of CIR, the report provides a table that presents a comparative summary of the key features of the bills. The report concludes with observations contrasting the 2006-2007 period with the context of today's CIR debate. The report also provides an appendix that summarizes the three major CIR bills.
Date: February 27, 2013
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program

Description: This report discusses the public safety officers' benefits (PSOB) program that provides three different types of benefits to public safety officers and their survivors: a death, a disability, and an education benefit.
Date: November 19, 2013
Creator: James, Nathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pay Equity: Legislative and Legal Developments

Description: This report discusses pay equity litigation, including Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, a case in which the Supreme Court rejected class action status for current and former female Wal-Mart employees who allege that the company has engaged in pay discrimination.
Date: November 22, 2013
Creator: Collins, Benjamin & Feder, Jody
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Length of Time from Nomination to Confirmation for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominees: Overview and Policy Options to Shorten the Process

Description: This report seeks to inform the current debate over the nomination and confirmation for U.S. circuit and district court nominees in three ways: first, by providing an overview of the time taken by the Senate during recent presidencies to confirm U.S. circuit and district court nominees; second, by identifying potential consequences of a protracted confirmation process for such nominees; and third, by identifying policy options the Senate might consider to shorten the length of time from nomination to confirmation for U.S. circuit and district court nominees.
Date: November 20, 2013
Creator: McMillion, Barry J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

Description: This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration to help address these issues. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Date: December 12, 2013
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nondiscrimination in Environmental Regulation: A Legal Analysis

Description: This report will examine the relevant legal authorities that may be asserted to address disproportionate impacts that result from how an agency implements environmental regulations, including the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and various environmental and conservation statutes. It will discuss administrative efforts to address "environmental justice," a term used by some advocates to refer to the distribution of environmental quality across various demographic groups, including the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Plan EJ 2014. It will also analyze the use of these authorities to prevent such impacts and the likelihood of success for future challenges under each legal theory.
Date: February 6, 2013
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Review of Fluoridation and Regulation Issues

Description: This report discusses the potential benefits and adverse effects associated with the fluoridation of drinking water supplies. It also discusses the regulation of fluoride in drinking water to protect against adverse health effects from exposure to higher levels of fluoride, and it reviews the status of federal efforts to update the health risk assessment for fluoride and the primary drinking water standard for fluoride.
Date: April 5, 2013
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department