The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009- 26, added a definition of “child pornography” that include visual depictions of what appears to be a minor engaging in explicit sexual conduct, even if no actual minor was used in producing the depiction. On April 16, 2002, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the Supreme Court held this provision unconstitutional to the extent that it prohibited pictures that were not produced with actual minors. (This case is discussed under “Section 2256,” below.) In response to Ashcroft, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would continue to ban some child pornography that was produced without an actual minor; on June 25, 2002, the House passed one such bill: H.R. 4623, 107th Congress.
Over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. Despite apparent national political resolve to deal with the drug problem, inherent contradictions regularly appear between U.S. anti-drug policy and other national policy goals and concerns. The mix of competing domestic and international pressures and priorities has produced an ongoing series of disputes within and between the legislative and executive branches concerning U.S. international drug policy. One contentious issue has been the Congressionally-mandated certification process, an instrument designed to induce specified drug-exporting countries to prioritize or pay more attention to the fight against narcotics businesses.
Congress has no power under the commerce clause over “noneconomic, violent criminal conduct” that does not cross state lines said Chief Justice William Rehnquist in United States v. Morrison. Congress, however, enjoys additional legislative powers under the spending clauses and the legislative clauses of the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Extensive, if something less than all encompassing, national legislation may be possible under the confluence of authority conveyed by the commerce clause, spending clause, and the legislative clauses of the constitution’s Reconstruction Amendments, provided the limitations of the First, Sixth and Tenth Amendments are observed.
This report discusses how best to coordinate the Federal government's multi-agency efforts to curb illicit traffic in dangerous drugs has once again become an issue of major interest to the Congress. Critics of the Reagan Administration's anti-drug program contend that it lacks an overall strategy and that it suffers from the absence of a central mechanism for the formulation of general policy as well as for the broad direction of operations
This report discusses questions dealing with the number of homeless Americans as well as trends in society's attitudes toward such people. The incidence of mental illness and the appropriateness, or lack thereof, of deinstitutionalization for such patients is another aspect of the problem which is covered in this packet. A CRS report gives an overview of the situation and of the Federal response.
The federal government owns or leases 3.7 billion square feet of office space, which may be vulnerable to acts of terrorism and other forms of violence. The September 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center renewed concerns about the vulnerability of federal buildings to bombing or other forms of attack. This report describes the creation and function of the Interagency Security Committee (ISC), which oversees the physical security of federal facilities. This report includes information on the ISC's 2007-2008 Action Plan.
The False Claims Act (FCA), an important tool for combating fraud against the U.S. government, generally provides that a person who knowingly submits, or causes to be submitted, a false or fraudulent claim for payment to the U.S. government may be subject to civil penalties and damages. This report provides an overview of the FCA and the Allison Engine decision, analyzes how this decision could affect certain FCA health care claims, and discusses the proposed False Claims Correction Acts (S. 2041 and H.R. 4854), which, if enacted, could limit the application of the Allison Engine decision.
Increasing militant activity in western Pakistan poses three key national security threats: an increased potential for major attacks against the United States itself; a growing threat to Pakistani stability; and a hindrance of U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. This report addresses this issue at length. It also describes the recent upsurge of militant activity on the Pakistani side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, as well as the general political climates of Pakistan and Afghanistan and their relationships with the United States.
In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress and the President consolidated numerous federal emergency plans into the National Response Plan (NRP). This report discusses how national response planning documents have evolved over time and describes the authorities that shape the National Response Framework (NRF). Several issue areas that might be examined for potential lawmaking and oversight concerning the NRF are also highlighted.
This report describes perjury under federal law, including a definition as well as in-depth explorations of the three general federal perjury laws. This report is available in abbreviated form - without footnotes, quotations, or citations - as CRS Report 98-807, Perjury Under Federal Law: A Sketch of the Elements.
This report discusses the three general federal perjury laws. This report is an abbreviated version of CRS Report 98-808, Perjury Under Federal Law: A Brief Overview, by Charles Doyle, stripped of most footnotes, quotations, citations, and bibliography.
This report analyzes relevant provisions in enacted legislation and selected pending bills relating to teh U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a facility in which alleged enemy belligerents are detained.
International child custody disputes are likely to increase in frequency as the global society becomes more integrated and mobile. Since 1988, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction ("Hague Convention" or "Convention") has been the principal mechanism for enforcing the return of abducted children to the United States. This report will discuss the applicability of the Hague Convention and current U.S. laws, both civil and criminal, which seek to address the quandary of children abducted by parents to foreign nations. In addition, pending legislation, including H.R. 3240 and H.R. 3487, is discussed.
This report concludes with discussion of other salient and recurring gun control issues that have generated past congressional interest. Those issues include (1) screening firearms background check applicants against terrorist watch lists, (2) reforming the regulation of federally licensed gun dealers, (3) requiring background checks for private firearms transfers at gun shows, (4) more strictly regulating certain firearms previously defined in statute as "semiautomatic assault weapons," and (5) banning or requiring the registration of certain long-range .50 caliber rifles, which are commonly referred to as "sniper" rifles. To set these and other emerging issues in context, this report provides basic firearms-related statistics, an overview of federal firearms law, and a summary of legislative action in the 111th Congress.
This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
Report that looks at past gun control legislation and also how recent events (such as the shooting in Tucson, AZ on January 8, 2011 which wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) have influenced current legislation. This report concludes with discussion of other salient and recurring gun control issues that have generated past congressional interest.
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.
This report examines compulsory DNA collection by law enforcement and its implications in regards to 4th amendment protections by examining legal precedents and considering the contemporary scientific understanding of DNA.
This report provides an overview of major legal issues likely to arise as a result of executive and legislative action to close the Guantanamo detention facility. It discusses legal issues related to the transfer of Guantanamo detainees, the continued detention of such persons in the United States, and the possible removal of persons brought into the country. It also discusses selected constitutional issues that may arise in the criminal prosecution of detainees, emphasizing the procedural and substantive protections that are utilized in different adjudicatory forums.
This report provides an overview of the hate crime debate, with background on current law and hate crime statistics, and a legislative history of hate crime prevention bills in recent Congresses. This report does not analyze the constitutional or other legal issues that often arise as part of the hate crime debate.
The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) has two broad missions, criminal investigations and protection. The protection mission, which is the focus of this fact sheet, covers the President, Vice President, their families, and candidates for those offices, along with the White House and Vice President's residence, through the Service's Uniformed Division. Protective duties also extend to foreign missions in the District of Columbia and to designated individuals, such as the DHS Secretary and visiting foreign dignitaries. This fact sheet provides information on USSS funding and staffing because congressional attention has turned to the USSS and its operations due to several recent incidents.
This report analyzes relevant provisions in enacted legislation and selected pending bills relating to the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a facility in which alleged enemy belligerents are detained.
This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a table comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court.
This report discusses the issue of North Korea's inclusion on the U.S. list of terrorism-supporting countries, which has been a major issue in U.S.-North Korean diplomacy since 2000, particularly in connection with negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program.
This report discusses the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) requires signatory parties to take measures to end torture within their territorial jurisdiction and to criminalize all acts of torture.
Murder, committed under any of more than 50 jurisdictional circumstances, is a federal capital offense. So are treason, espionage, and certain drug kingpin offenses. The Federal Death Penalty Act and related provisions establish the procedure that must be followed before a defendant convicted of a federal capital offense may be executed. This report is an overview of the law in the area.
This dialog allows you to filter your current search.
Each of the Years listed note their name and the number of records that will be limited down to if you choose that option.
The list can be sorted by name or the count.
Having trouble finding an option within the list of Years? Start typing and we'll update the list to show only those items that match your needs.
This dialog allows you to filter your current search.
Each of the Days listed note their name and the number of records that will be limited down to if you choose that option.
The list can be sorted by name or the count.
Having trouble finding an option within the list of Days? Start typing and we'll update the list to show only those items that match your needs.