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Securities Regulation and Initial Coin Offerings: A Legal Primer
This report discusses the principles that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and courts use to determine whether a transaction qualifies as an offering of "securities" under the Securities Act and the Exchange Act, and the application of those principles to initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides information and analysis on Turkish relations with the United States, Russia, Syria, and Kurdish groups. Domestic issues in Turkey include economic issues and President Erdogan's increasing authoritarianism.
India: Religious Freedom Issues
This report provides an overview of religious freedom issues in India including a broad discussion of the religious demographics and freedoms, and human rights. It also discusses specific areas of religiously-motivated repression and violence and perceived assaults on freedoms of expression and operations by nongovernmental organizations that are seen as harmful to India's secular traditions and the U.S-promoted goal of interfaith tolerance.
Questioning Judicial Nominees: Legal Limitations and Practice
This report examines the relevant considerations for questioning judicial nominees. It describes applicable canons of judicial ethics that may discourage judicial nominees from answering certain questions posed by Members of Congress; which types of questions prior federal judicial nominees have answered or declined to answer, focusing on nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court; and some takeaways for Members.
Turkey's Currency Crisis
This report discusses the currency crisis in Turkey, implications for the Turkish and U.S. economies, and questions for Congress to consider.
The Made in China 2025 Initiative: Economic Implications for the United StatesWayne M. Morrison,
This report explains the Chinese government's "Made in China 2025" (MIC 2025) initiative, why it has generated concern among U.S. policymakers and stakeholders, and the Section 301 case against China and MIC 2025.
The "Flores Settlement" and Alien Families Apprehended at the U.S. Border: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked legal questions pertaining to the Flores Settlement and the settlement's impact on the detention of alien families apprehended at or near the U.S. border. In particular, the report addresses (1) background of the litigation, (2) how the Settlement restricts DHS's power to keep families in detention, (3) the relationship between the Ms. L. litigation and the Settlement, (4) the executive branch's policy options under the Settlement, and (5) the extent to which either the executive branch or Congress can override or modify the terms of the Flores Settlement.
U.S. Trade Debates: Select Disputes and Actions
This report discusses a number of significant trade disputes involving the United States over the past 100 years. It is a response to the 271 active trade disputes currently being addressed in the World Trade Organization (WTO) that involve the United States.
Records, Papers, Decisions: Kavanaugh Records and the Presidential Records Act
This report discusses the release of records pertaining to Judge Brett Kavanaugh's tenure in the George W. Bush Administration and the Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr, which have been the subject of ongoing congressional interest since Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.
Judicial Fact-Finding and Criminal Sentencing: Current Practice and Potential Change
This report provides an overview of criminal sentencing law by briefly describing the use of relevant conduct under the Guidelines and tracing the Supreme Court case law that has informed the practice, before addressing judicial commentary and recently proposed legislation regarding the use of acquitted or uncharged conduct at sentencing.
Supreme Court Nomination: CRS Products
This document provides a list of all the Congressional Research Service reports describing the judicial decisions of Justice Kennedy and Judge Kavanaugh, as well as Supreme Court vacancies and nominations.
Yemen: Civil War and Regional Intervention
This report provides information on the ongoing crisis in Yemen. Now in its fourth year, the war in Yemen shows no signs of abating. On June 12, 2018, the Saudi-led coalition, a multinational grouping of armed forces led primarily by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), launched Operation Golden Victory, with the aim of retaking the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah. The coalition also has continued to conduct air strikes inside Yemen. The war has killed thousands of Yemenis, including combatants as well as civilians, and has significantly damaged the country's infrastructure. According to the United Nations (U.N.) High Commissioner for Human Rights, from the start of the conflict in March 2015 through August 9, 2018, the United Nations documented "a total of 17,062 civilian casualties -- 6,592 dead and 10,470 injured." This figure may vastly underestimate the war's death toll.
Air Force OA-X Light Attack Aircraft Program
This report discusses the U.S. Air Force's intention to acquire a new type of aircraft. The OA-X light attack aircraft is a small, two-seat turboprop airplane designed for operation in relatively permissive environments.
Hong Kong: Recent Developments and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the government of Hong Kong and their relationship with the United States.
Iran: Internal Politics and U.S. Policy and Options
This report discusses the political history, current politics, and human rights practices of Iran, as well as Iran's relations with the United States, U.S. policy toward Iran, and future policy options.
Al Qaeda and Islamic State Affiliates in Afghanistan
This report outlines major terrorist groups affiliated and allied with Al Qaeda (AQ) and the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS, ISIL, or by the Arabic acronym Da'esh) and the complex, often shifting relations between them and various other state and non-state actors.
CFIUS Reform: Foreign Investment National Security Reviews
This report discusses recent legislation, known as the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) of 2018. The legislation amends the current process for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review -- on behalf of the President -- the national security implications of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States.
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the ongoing conflict in Syria and U.S. policy regarding the conflict and potential resolutions.
Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court
This report provides an overview of Judge Kavanaugh's jurisprudence and discusses his potential impact on the Court if he were to be confirmed to succeed Justice Kennedy. It focuses upon those areas of law where Justice Kennedy can be seen to have influenced the High Court's approach to certain issues or served as a fifth and deciding vote on the Court, with a view toward how Judge Kavanaugh might approach these same issues.
Calling Balls and Strikes: Ethics and Supreme Court Justices
This report examines questions related to the integrity and independence of the Supreme Court, and Congress's potential role in regulating the ethics of the Supreme Court Justices. For example: What mechanisms ensure the integrity of Justices as federal officials? Are Justices subject to any rules of ethical conduct? How might such ethics rules be enforced?
MS-13 in the United States and Federal Law Enforcement Efforts
This report provides a brief background on the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a violent criminal gang operating in the United States and abroad--namely Central America. It focuses on MS-13's structure and criminal activities in the U.S. and highlights law enforcement initiatives to counter the gang's illicit activities. The report also provides an overview of selected domestic policy issues Congress may examine as part of its efforts to counter MS-13.
Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Research Efforts in the Military
This report discusses substance abuse trends in the military, efforts by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to address the opioid crisis, and the main elements of DOD's substance abuse prevention, compliance, and disciplinary policies.
Election Security: Issues in the 2018 Midterm Elections
This report discusses concerns over possible election interference that could take place during the 2018 midterm elections.
Implementing EPA's 2015 Ozone Air Quality Standards
This report provides background on NAAQS (federal standards that apply to outdoor air), the process used to establish them, the 2008 and 2015 ozone standards, and issues that have been raised as EPA implements the final rule.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. A total of 32 LCSs have been procured through FY2018. For FY2019, the Navy is requesting the procurement of the 33rd LCS. The LCS program presents several oversight issues for Congress. Congress's decisions on the program will affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the shipbuilding industrial base.
Toward the Creation of a U.S. "Space Force"
This report discusses the possibility of a new military service branch -- the Space Force -- with the goal of asserting "American dominance in space."
When Does Double Prosecution Count as Double Jeopardy?
This report discusses the Fifth Amendment's Double Jeopardy Clause; although the Clause provides that no person shall "be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb," the Supreme Court has made clear that that protection has its limits.
IRS Will No Longer Require Disclosure of Certain Nonprofit Donor Information
This report will first provide background on the statute and regulations regarding tax-exempt organizations' (EOs') disclosure of contributor information. Next, the report will discuss the justifications of and reactions to the new policy, including the views of proponents and opponents of the new policy. The report will then discuss the litigation Montana has filed against the policy. Finally, the report will provide considerations for Congress.
Strange Occurrences Highlight Insider Threat to Aviation Security
This report discusses insider threats to aviation security and how those concerns can be mitigated.
Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee
This report discusses the role played by the Senate Judiciary Committee in the process for appointing Supreme Court Justices. Each appointment to the nine-member Court is of consequence because of the enormous judicial power that the Court exercises, separate from, and independent of, the executive and legislative branches.
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers and the TAA Reauthorization Act of 2015
After a brief discussion of the program's purpose and most recent reauthorization, this report describes TAA as reauthorized by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015 (TAARA, Title IV of P.L. 114-27).
Emergency Use Authorization and FDA's Related Authorities
This report discusses when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may permit a medical product to be provided to patients outside of the standard regulatory framework.
Kosovo: Background and U.S. Relations
This report describes Kosovo's government and political structure, economy, and relations with the U.S., Serbia, and the European Union (EU).
Nuclear Energy: Overview of Congressional Issues
This report discusses nuclear energy and various issues and concerns related to it use. Congressional actions and related CRS reports are described for six topics which are: radioactive waste, economic viability, safety, technological advances, security and emergency plans, and nuclear weapon nonproliferation.
Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Qatar's governmental structure and politics, economy, foreign policy and regional disputes with other Gulf countries, U.S.-Qatar relations and security collaboration, and human rights issues.
The War in Yemen: A Compilation of Legislation in the 115th Congress
This report provides a summary of all legislative proposals that the 115th Congress has considered to date regarding the conflict in Yemen. Proposed stand-alone legislation, resolutions, and amendments to wider bills [National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2810; P.L. 115-91) and Defense appropriations (H.R. 3219/Division I, H.R. 3354)] reflect a range of congressional perspectives and priorities.
Can the President Pardon Contempt of Court? Probably Yes.
This report provides a brief background of contempt of court, explores the various arguments regarding whether a pardon can relieve an individual of criminal liability for contempt, and discusses potential congressional responses to the perceived abuse of the pardon power.
Glider Kit, Engine, and Vehicle Regulations
This report examines EPA's and selected other federal agencies' requirements on glider kits and glider vehicles and outlines the congressional response.
Military Child Development Program: Background and Issues
This report traces the development of DOD-sponsored childcare services and discusses these issues in greater depth in order to support Members of Congress in their oversight role. The next section gives an overview of DOD's justification for the CDP program and demand for services. Next is a discussion of current CDP components, policies, and funding. This is followed by the legislative history of DOD-sponsored childcare in the military. The final section discusses issues and options for Congress related to oversight and funding of military childcare programs.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and UMRA's implementation. It focuses on UMRA's requirement that CBO issue written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in legislation, its procedures for raising points of order in the House and Senate concerning unfunded federal mandates in legislation, and its requirement that federal agencies prepare written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in rules.
Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) in the United States
This report includes a primer on the CCS (and carbon utilization) process and discusses the current state of CCS in the United States, as well as the DOE program for CCS R&D and CCS-related legislation in the 115th Congress.
Congress's Power over Courts: Jurisdiction Stripping and the Rule of Klein
This report highlights a series of Supreme Court rulings that have examined separation-of-powers-based limitations on the Exceptions Clause, congressional jurisdiction stripping, and the ability of Congress to amend laws with the purpose of directly impacting litigation. The Court's jurisprudence largely begins with the Reconstruction-era case, United States v. Klein, and leads to Patchak v. Zinke, from the October 2017 term.
Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: FY2019 Budget and Appropriations
This report outlines the 2019 fiscal year budget request for the U.S. State Department, foreign operations, and related programs such as foreign aid. It discusses information about funding levels requested, major projects for the year, and Congressional actions.
Hazing in the Armed Forces
This report discusses the issue of hazing as an initiation custom in the Armed Forces. Congress has oversight of this issue under Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution; this report outlines the context of this issue and recent actions taken to counteract it to help Congress decide whether or not to address hazing in the military through oversight and legislation.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Status
This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)
This report looks at the background and current status of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which was formed to increase international cooperation in interdicting shipments of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Proposed U.S.-EU Trade Negotiations: Hitting Pause on a Trade War?
This report discusses the announcement by the United States and European Union (EU) that they are at a "new phase" in their relationship for "freer, fairer, and more reciprocal trade." The announcement came on July 25, 2018 at a challenging time for transatlantic trade relations.
The U.S. Export Control System and the Export Control Reform Initiative
This report discusses the U.S. export control system for defense related exports and examines the current split administration of the various parts of the system and proposals to unify and streamline the system.
Abortion, Justice Kennedy, and Judge Kavanaugh
This report addresses the questions that have arisen about the future of the Supreme Court's abortion jurisprudence, after the recent retirement of Justice Kennedy, the last remaining justice from the Casey plurality. The report first reviews the undue burden standard set from the Casey decision and discusses Justice Kennedy's views on the standard in the case law that has developed since Casey. Then, in light of President Trump's July 9, 2018 nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy, it examines Judge Kavanaugh's only substantive abortion opinion: a dissent in the 2017 case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit), Garza v. Hargan. Finally, as lower courts continue to apply the undue burden standard to new abortion regulations, the report concludes by noting some of the abortion cases that the Supreme Court could possibly review in the near future.
Oops: When Does a Plain Error in Calculating a Defendant's Sentencing Guidelines Range Warrant Resentencing?
This report discusses the Supreme Court opinion that an appellate court should exercise its discretion to correct an unpreserved error "if the error seriously affects the fairness, integrity or public reputation of judicial proceedings."