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Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview

Description: This report briefly explores the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), which requires imposition of a minimum 15-year term of imprisonment for recidivists convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 922(g). Section 924(e) applies only to those defendants who have three prior state or federal convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses. The report includes descriptions of constitutional challenges to the application of section 924(e), which have been generally unsuccessful.
Date: October 13, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Description: Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise.
Date: March 26, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

False Patent Marking: Litigation and Legislation

Description: This report will describe and analyze the Federal Circuit's 2009 decision that requires a per-article penalty for false marking, as well as two subsequent Federal Circuit decisions in 2010 that answer several questions that have arisen during the recent false patent marking litigation. It also identifies and discusses legislation in the 111th Congress that would amend § 292 in order to retroactively end qui tam false marking suits and with the intent of reducing the number of false marking suits filed in the future.
Date: October 20, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Government's Role in Electric Transmission Facility Siting

Description: This report looks at the history of transmission siting and the reason behind the movement toward an increased federal role in siting decisions, explains the new federal role in transmission siting pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and discusses legal issues related to this and any potential future expansions of the federal role.
Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: Vann, Adam
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: There appears to be a growing international consensus to adopt progressively strict economic sanctions against Iran to try to compel it to compromise on its further nuclear development. The U.S. view - increasingly shared by major allies-is that sanctions should target Iran's energy sector, which provides about 80% of government revenues, and try to isolate Iran from the international financial system. U.S. efforts to curb international energy investment in Iran's energy sector began in 1996 with the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). ISA has been expanded significantly in 2010. This report discusses said expansions, provides background on the ISA, and explores how this Act has affected
Date: October 7, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain.
Date: November 9, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Climate Change: A Negotiations Side-by-Side

Description: This report discusses various cooperative international efforts to address the issue of global climate change. The two major international agreements discussed in a side-by-side comparison are the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2010 Copenhagen Accord. The report discusses how many observers are hoping that initiatives carried out under the Copenhagen Accord may help bridge divides between the various tracks and economic groupings established under the Kyoto Protocol.
Date: November 18, 2010
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intermediate-Level Blends of Ethanol in Gasoline, and the Ethanol "Blend Wall"

Description: This report discusses the growing interest in the potential for ethanol to displace petroleum as a transportation fuel, as well as related issues, including current Clean Air Act (CAA) limitation on ethanol content in gasoline; the requests of ethanol producers for an increase of this limitation; and the effects the limitation has upon vehicle and engine warranties and the infrastructures of the automobile and fuel industries.
Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Legislative Action

Description: In recent years, major outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, product recalls, and reports about unsafe food imports have caused some to question the adequacy of the U.S. food safety system. Stakeholders appear to agree that an optimal system should encompass a comprehensive, preventive approach to food safety, focusing on those foods and points in the food system that pose the greatest public health risks, starting at the point of production - that is, on farms and ranches. This report discusses differing opinions on this topic, as well as related legislation.
Date: October 5, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened concerns about the region's future. Issues 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 could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues.
Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture-Based Biofuels: Overview and Emerging Issues

Description: This report reviews the evolution of the U.S. biofuels sector and the role that federal policy has played in shaping its development. In addition, it highlights emerging issues that are critical to the biofuels sector and of relevance to Congress.
Date: October 14, 2010
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Description: This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance.
Date: October 25, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A. & Chite, Ralph M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities

Description: The purpose of this report is to describe and discuss the provisions for providing abortion services to military personnel, their dependents and other military health care beneficiaries at military medical facilities. The report describes the history of these provisions, with particular emphasis on legislative actions. Finally, this report discusses a number of proposals to modify the law as well as other related legislative and administrative actions.
Date: July 8, 2010
Creator: Burrelli, David F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Description: This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
Date: November 19, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Surface Transportation Funding and Finance

Description: This report discusses changes in funding to the national surface transportation infrastructure, especially in light of the recession that began in 2007, which led to decreases in driving and fuel use. This report focuses on possible revenue sources for surface transportation infrastructure. It begins with a brief discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system and then explores possible immediate and longer-term solutions to the financing problem.
Date: November 10, 2010
Creator: Fischer, John W.; Kirk, Robert S. & Mallett, William J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Perjury Under Federal Law: A Brief Overview

Description: 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.
Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Perjury Under Federal Law: A Sketch of the Elements

Description: 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.
Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Projects Designated in EPA Appropriations: Trends and Policy Implications

Description: This report discusses appropriations for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water infrastructure programs, focusing on congressional special project designations in the account that funds these programs. While some Members of Congress, interest groups, and Administration officials are critical of these types of congressional actions, there is little indication that the practice will cease. Information on the programmatic history of EPA involvement in assisting wastewater treatment and drinking water projects also is provided in two appendixes.
Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

State Efforts to Deter Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Analysis of Arizona's S.B. 1070

Description: On April 23, 2010, Arizona enacted S.B. 1070, which is designed to discourage and deter the entry or presence of aliens who lack lawful status under federal immigration law. This report discusses this piece of legislation and some of the notable preemption issues raised by its provisions. Where relevant, it examines the district court's ruling that the federal government is likely to succeed on the merits of its arguments that certain sections of S.B. 1070 are preempted by federal law. It also discusses other preemption issues potentially raised by S.B. 1070 or similar legislation, including some issues that were not expressly addressed by the district court in its preliminary ruling.
Date: September 14, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.; Garcia, Michael John & Eig, Larry M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation

Description: Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform have urged the President and Congress to pursue reform legislation. While legislative action on comprehensive reform does not appear likely during the remainder of the 111th Congress, there may be an effort to enact a measure, commonly referred to as the "DREAM Act," to enable certain unauthorized alien students to legalize their status. This report discusses the DREAM act and related issues.
Date: October 27, 2010
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-South Korea Beef Dispute: Issues and Status

Description: This report describes the beef provisions in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and the separate bilateral protocols that the United States has negotiated in order to secure the lifting of South Korea's ban on U.S. beef imports, imposed after the discovery of mad cow disease in late 2003. It also summarizes U.S. beef export developments to this key market before and after the ban and since these protocols took effect; and lays out the outstanding issues on U.S. beef access that will likely need to be resolved to facilitate congressional consideration of the KORUS FTA.
Date: September 23, 2010
Creator: Jurenas, Remy & Manyin, Mark E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Robo-Signing" and Other Alleged Documentation Problems in Judicial and Nonjudicial Foreclosure Processes

Description: Recent depositions involving major servicers, including GMAC Mortgage, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, have raised concerns about "robo-signing" -- the practice of having a small number of individuals sign a large number of affidavits and other legal documents submitted to courts and other public authorities by mortgage companies to execute foreclosure. This report explores concerns related to these issues by explaining the mortgage market process, procedural problems that have surfaced during foreclosure proceedings, and other relevant information.
Date: November 15, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Role of Home State Senators in the Selection of Lower Federal Court Judges

Description: This report examines the role played by Senators in the selection of nominees to two kinds of lower federal court judgeships. Specifically, the judgeships in question, over which Senators have historically played a role in nominee selection, are those (1) in the U.S. district courts lying geographically within the Senators' states and (2) in the U.S. court of appeals circuits of which the Senators' states are a geographic part. This report also discusses several historical and ethical aspects related to Senators recommending judicial candidates.
Date: November 10, 2010
Creator: Rutkus, Denis Steven
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Obstruction of Congress: A Brief Overview of Federal Law Relating to Interference with Congressional Activities

Description: Obstruction of justice is the frustration of governmental purposes by violence, corruption, destruction of evidence, or deceit. It is a federal crime. In fact, federal obstruction of justice laws are legion; too many for even passing reference to all of them in a single report. This is a brief description of those that outlaw interference with congressional activities.
Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department