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The Travel Ban Case and Nationwide Injunctions

Description: This report addresses when, if ever, a regional federal trial judge adjudicating a case involving the federal government can award nationwide injunctive relief--a court order that commands a party to take or refrain from taking some action throughout the country. In the context of a suit against the federal government, an injunction with this type of "universal" effect acts to effectively void the law or policy in question. This report briefly explores the nationwide injunction at issue in the travel ban case (Trump v. Hawaii) and surveys a handful of the scholarly and judicial arguments surrounding the nationwide injunction in general
Date: May 2, 2018
Creator: Freeman, Wilson C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Third Circuit Invalidates "De Facto" Life Sentences for "Non-Incorrigible" Juvenile Offenders

Description: This report discusses a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the case of "United States v. Grant" that prohibits the use of "de facto" life sentences without possibility of parole (created by sentencing juveniles to prison terms longer than the average lifespan or that would end after they reached the typical retirement age) for juvenile offenders who have a reasonable potential for rehabilitation. The report also discusses previous decisions related to this issue and the split among appeals court over the proper application of the Eighth Amendment to juvenile sentencing restrictions.
Date: April 30, 2018
Creator: Smith, Alison M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress such as: Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic that could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition. The FY2019 budget request for arctic research is included.
Date: April 24, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The H-2B Visa and the Statutory Cap: In Brief

Description: This report discusses H-2B visas for temporary non-agricultural workers and the statutory cap on the number issued each year along with recent extensions of the cap number due to high-demand from U.S. employers.
Date: April 17, 2018
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Murderous Schemes are not Violent Crimes?

Description: This report discusses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit's decision in the case of "U.S. v. McCollum" which stated that conspiracy to murder was not a violent crime for federal sentencing purposes and discusses the background of the case and the prior case law which led to the decision.
Date: April 17, 2018
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Orderly Liquidation Authority: Reform Proposals

Description: This report discusses the Orderly Liquidation Authority (OLA) which was created by Title II of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203) to allow the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to resolve certain failing financial institutions whose collapse could threaten the stability of the financial system. Although OLA has never been used, it has become the subject of a number of reform proposals. This report briefly describes the OLA and two prominent examples of such proposals.
Date: April 17, 2018
Creator: Perkins, David W. & Gnanarajah, Raj
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legal Authorities Under the Controlled Substances Act to Combat the Opioid Crisis

Description: This report discusses legal authorities available to the federal government under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that could be used to combat the opioid epidemic. The report then examines DEA initiatives and actions taken, pursuant to its legal authorities under the CSA, which specifically target the abuse of opioids. It concludes by discussing selected opioid-related legislative proposals in the 115th Congress that would amend the CSA.
Date: April 16, 2018
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Description: This report discusses the various legal authorities and regulations that govern offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling in U.S. waters. The report also discusses recent executive action and legislative proposals concerning offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production.
Date: April 13, 2018
Creator: Vann, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Special Counsels, Independent Counsels, and Special Prosecutors: Legal Authority and Limitations on Independent Executive Investigations

Description: This report analyzes the use of special prosecutors and independent counsels that were authorized under now-expired provisions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as well as the use of special counsels that are currently authorized by DOJ regulations. A glossary of terms at the beginning of the report briefly defines these italicized terms (see Table 1). The report continues with an examination of various constitutional issues relevant to these efforts.
Date: April 13, 2018
Creator: Brown, Cynthia & Cole, Jared P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Class Action Lawsuits: A Legal Overview for the 115th Congress

Description: This report serves as a primer on class action litigation in the federal courts. It begins by discussing the purpose of class actions, as well as the risks class actions may pose to defendants, class members, and society at large. The report also discusses the prerequisites that a class action must satisfy before a court may "certify" it--that is, before a federal court may allow a case to proceed as a class action. An Appendix to the report also contains a reference chart that graphically illustrates those prerequisites for class certification. The report then discusses Rule 23's restrictions on the parties' ability to settle a certified class action. The report concludes by identifying ways in which Congress could modify the legal framework governing class actions if it were so inclined, with a particular focus on a bill currently pending in the 115th Congress that would effectuate a variety of changes to the class action system.
Date: April 11, 2018
Creator: Lewis, Kevin M. & Freeman, Wilson C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tort and Litigation Reform in the 115th Congress

Description: This report discusses "tort reform" which refers to whether (and to what extent) legislatures should limit lawsuits concerning negligence, personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability, and other similar causes of action. The report surveys several major tort and litigation reform bills pending in the 115th Congress and discusses some of the legal issues raised by each bill.
Date: April 10, 2018
Creator: Lewis, Kevin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sexual Harassment and Title VII: Selected Legal Issues

Description: This report discusses Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and legal interpretations regarding whether it covers sexual harassment in the workplace and if so what types of employer actions are permissible or impermissible under the law.
Date: April 9, 2018
Creator: Back, Christine J. & Freeman, Wilson C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

What Happens When Five Supreme Court Justices Can't Agree?

Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court case of "Hughes v. United States" where all five justices agreed on the party that should win but they could not agree on why that party should win. The report discusses what justice's opinion, if any should enter future law through case law precedent, similar past cases, and the background of the "Hughes" case.
Date: April 5, 2018
Creator: Lewis, Kevin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

District Court Decision May Help Pave the Way for Trump Administration's Border Wall Plans

Description: This report discusses the U.S. District for the Southern District of California's recent decision in a case brought by the State of California against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding DHS's right to waive environmental and other administrative laws for border fence building projects. The court agreed with other court rulings on the issue and affirmed DHS's right to waive the laws.
Date: April 2, 2018
Creator: Vann, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department