Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse


A Brief Summary of the HIPAA Medical Privacy Rule

Description: This report provides a brief overview of the modified HIPAA Privacy rule, “Standards for the Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” (“privacy rule”) published on August 14, 2002 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Date: April 30, 2003
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assisted Suicide and the Controlled Substances Act: Legal Issues Associated with the Proposed Pain Relief Promotion Act

Description: The Pain Relief Promotion Act, as proposed in the 106th Congress, provided that the Attorney General, in determining whether the registration of a doctor for the administration of controlled substances is in the public interest, should give no force and effect to state law authorizing or permitting assisted suicide or euthanasia. This language would appear to have been designed to abrogate the legal reasoning set forth by the Attorney General in a press release regarding the application of the Controlled Substances Act to acts of physician-assisted suicide. It would not, however, appear to have required the Attorney General to revoke such registrations; nor would it have criminalized assisted suicide or euthanasia. This report will be updated as congressional action warrants.
Date: January 12, 2001
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coastal Zone Management Reauthorization: An Overview

Description: Congress is considering legislation that would reauthorize the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. This overview summarizes the programs created by this act and its amendments, and outlines issues associated with reauthorization. These issues include reauthorizing funding, altering grant programs, changing the National Estuarine Research Reserve system, funding to implement nonpoint water pollution requirements, protecting private property rights, expanding program evaluation efforts, and examining effects of personal water craft on the coastal requirement. A reauthorization bill has been reported by the House Resources Committee (H.R. 2669, H. Rept. 106-485), and floor action is anticipated soon. In the Senate, no action has been taken.
Date: March 14, 2000
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Description: The Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act has two basic aims: to regulate international ocean disposal of materials, into authorized related research. Permit and enforcement provisions of the law are often referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act. The basic provisions of the act have remained virtually unchanged since 1972, when it was enacted to establish a comprehensive waste management system to regulate disposal or dumping of all materials into marine waters that are within U.S. jurisdiction, although a number of new authorities have been added. This report represents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute.
Date: January 22, 1999
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agreements to Promote Fishery Conservation and Management in International Waters

Description: Declining fish populations threaten an important food source. Natural catastrophes, pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing contribute to the depletion of fish stocks. Overexploitation of fishery resources often occurs when management allows expanding and increasingly efficient fishing fleets to continue harvesting dwindling supplies. Although prevalent, overexploitation is not universal and its extent varies among areas, species, and fisheries. This report discusses the issue of overfishing and its possible consequences, as well as domestic and international efforts to combat overfishing.
Date: January 5, 1996
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deep Seabed Mining: U.S. Interests and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea

Description: On July 29, 1994, the United States signed the Agreement Relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982. This agreement substantially reforms the seabed mining provisions of the 1982 Convention, which the United States found objectionable. In signing the Agreement, President Clinton accepted provisional application of it which enables the United States to participate in the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and its organs and bodies. On November 16, 1994, the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention entered into force without accession by the United States.The treaty document was referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations late in the 103d Congress and awaits committee action in the 104th Congress.
Date: April 7, 1995
Creator: Mielke, James E
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Administrative Subpoenas and National Security Letters in Criminal and Intelligence Investigations: A Sketch

Description: Administrative subpoena authority, including closely related national security letter authority, is the power vested in various administrative agencies to compel testimony or the production of documents or both in aid of the agencies’ performance of their duties. Both the President and Members of Congress have called for statutory adjustments relating to the use of administrative subpoenas and national security letters in criminal and foreign intelligence investigations. One lower federal court has found the sweeping gag orders and lack of judicial review that mark one of the national security letter practices constitutionally defective. Proponents of expanded use emphasize the effectiveness of administrative subpoenas as an investigative tool and question the logic of its availability in drug and health care fraud cases but not in terrorism cases. Critics suggest that it is little more than a constitutionally suspect “trophy” power, easily abused and of little legitimate use. This is an abridged version — without footnotes, appendices, quotation marks and most citations to authority — of Administrative Subpoenas and National Security Letters in Criminal and Foreign Intelligence Investigations: Background and Proposed Adjustments, CRS Report RL32880.
Date: April 15, 2005
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Class Actions and Proposed Reform in the 107th Congress: Class Action Fairness Act of 2002

Description: This report discusses the Class Action Fairness Act of 2002. The bill reflects a preference for class actions to be adjudicated in federal courts and would enlarge U.S. district courts original jurisdiction over class actions with claims aggregating $2,000,000 or more (even if each of the members of the class had not sustained damages in excess of $75,000 as is now required).
Date: March 12, 2002
Creator: Wallace, Paul Starett, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department