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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

Supreme Court October Term 2017: A Preview of Select Cases

Description: This report highlights four of the notable cases of the new term that could impact the work of Congress: (1) Carpenter v. United States, which examines the limits the Fourth Amendment imposes on the warrantless collection of the historical cell phone location records of a criminal suspect; (2) Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a case exploring whether Congress, by prohibiting a state from partially repealing a state law, impermissibly commandeers the powers of the state; (3) Gill v. Whitford, which considers when a state's redistricting plan amounts to impermissible partisan gerrymandering; and (4) Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which asks whether a baker has a First Amendment right to decline to make cakes for same-sex weddings. Each case is addressed in a separate section that provides background information on the case; summarizes the arguments that were or are likely to be presented to the Court in each case; and examines the implications that the Court's ruling could have for Congress, including broader ramifications for the jurisprudence in a given area of law.
Date: September 19, 2017
Creator: Nolan, Andrew; Brannon, Valerie C.; Garcia, Michael John; Harrington, Ben; Sykes, Jay B. & Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monopoly and Monopolization - Fundamental But Separate Concepts in U.S. Antitrust Law

Description: This report illustrates the difference between the concepts of “monopoly” and “monopolization” by touching on the monopoly/monopolization thinking in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as illustrated in (1) statements on merger enforcement made by recent antitrust enforcement officials (generally indicative of the agencies’ concerns about competitive conditions and the effect of various market transactions), (2) the 1992 Horizontal Merger Guidelines 2 and (3) some observations on the Government actions against the Microsoft and Intel Corporations.
Date: June 28, 1999
Creator: Rubin, Janice E
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Abortion: Judicial Control

Description: In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Constitution protects a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, and that a State may not unduly burden the exercise of that fundamental right by regulations that prohibit or substantially limit access to the means of effectuating that decision, Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179. But rather than settling the issue, the Court's rulings have kindled heated debate and precipitated a variety of governmental actions at the national, State and local levels designed either to nullify the rulings or hinder their effectuation. This brief discusses this ongoing issue, highlighting judicial history and decisions.
Date: March 10, 1988
Creator: Lewis, Karen J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Doctrine of Constitutional Avoidance: A Legal Overview

Description: This report discusses select issues regarding judicial review, and offers some contemporary views on the Ashwander Doctrine, under which the Supreme Court avoids ruling decisively in cases that it deems able to be resolved outside of the court, non-constitutionally (Constitutional Avoidance).
Date: September 2, 2014
Creator: Nolan, Andrew
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

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. International law is derived from two primary sources--international agreements and customary practice. Under the U.S. legal system, international agreements can be entered into by means of a treaty or an executive agreement. The Constitution allocates primary responsibility for entering into such agreements to the executive branch, but Congress also plays an essential role.
Date: January 26, 2010
Creator: Garcia, Michael J.
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. 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

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