Congressional Research Service Reports - 1,244 Matching Results

Search Results

Military Commission Judges Do Not Have Unilateral Power to Punish for Contempt
This report discusses the case of Baker v. Spath, in which Brigadier General (Gen.) John G. Baker, Chief Defense Counsel of the Military Commission System, prevailed in his habeas case against a military commission judge who sentenced him to 21 days' confinement and fined him $1,000 for contempt.
Media Consolidation: United States v. AT&T and Implications for Future Transactions
This report discusses the proposed merger of AT&T, Inc. (AT&T) with Time Warner Inc. (Time Warner), after one of the most closely watched antitrust trials in recent memory. This report first outlines current Section 7 doctrine and then discusses the particularities of the government's case against AT&T and Time Warner and the court's decision to allow the transaction to proceed. Finally, it analyzes the decision's implications for the media industry and future antitrust cases, and identify potential considerations for Congress.
Who Interprets Foreign Law in U.S. Federal Courts?
This report discusses the interpretation of foreign law, from routine breach of contract and tort claims to complex cases implicating the judicial branch's role in international affairs. In Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., the Supreme Court announced the standard of deference for U.S. federal courts to apply when considering a foreign government's interpretation of its own law.
Mexico: Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations
This report provides background on drug trafficking and organized crime inside Mexico. It identifies the major drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and examines how the organized crime "landscape" has been significantly altered by fragmentation.
Cuba: U.S. Policy Overview
This report discusses U.S. policy towards Cuba, including issues of government-to-government engagement, travel and commerce, change in U.S. immigration policy, continued human rights concerns, injuries of U.S. Embassy personnel in Havana, and Congressional action.
The Equal Rights Amendment: Close to Adoption?
This report discusses the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which was first presented to the states in 1972 and has been ratified by 37 states, most recently by Illinois in May 2018.
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses U.S. sanctions against Iran and the 2016 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement which led to the lifting of sanctions based on nuclear proliferation in Iran. The bulk of the report outlines the various sanctions against Iran and their current implementation status, international efforts to bring about compliance, and their effects. Recent discussions regarding President's Trump announcement that the U.S. was decertifying the nuclear agreement and the possibility of reinstating certain sanctions are also discussed.
UPDATE: Public Sector Union Dues: Grappling with Fixed Stars and Stare Decisis (Part I)
This report discusses the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of "Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council." In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that public-sector agency fee arrangements violate the First Amendment, overruling its 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.
UPDATE: Supreme Court Takes Fourth Amendment Case about Cell Phone Location Data
This report provides an update to a June 2017 report on the Carpenter v. United States case on government collection of cell phone location information. On June 22, 2018, the Supreme Court held in a 5-to-4 decision in Carpenter v. United States that government acquisition of historical cell site location information (CSLI) constitutes a Fourth Amendment search. The Court further held that the government needs a warrant supported by probable cause.
An Overview of U.S. Immigration Laws Regulating the Admission and Exclusion of Aliens at the Border
This report discusses U.S. immigration law as it relates to the Trump Administration's zero tolerance policy to criminally prosecute migrants who unlawfully enter the United States at the southern border; a policy which has led to the separation of children from parents awaiting prosecution for unlawful entry.
A Primer on U.S. Immigration Policy
This report provides a broad overview of U.S. immigration policy. The first section addresses policies governing how foreign nationals enter the United States either to reside permanently or to stay temporarily. The second section discusses enforcement policies for excluding foreign nationals from admission into the United States, as well as for detaining and removing those who enter the country unlawfully or who enter lawfully but subsequently commit crimes that make them deportable. The third section addresses policies for unauthorized aliens residing in the United States.
North Korea: Legislative Basis for U.S. Economic Sanctions
This report discusses the economic sanctions the United States imposes on North Korea for activities related to weapons proliferation, destabilizing the region, anti-terrorism, and undemocratic governance.
UPDATE: Termination of Temporary Protected Status for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador: Key Takeaways and Analysis
This report is an update to a February 2, 2018 report discussing Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations and answering questions regarding the recent termination of TPS for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan. The update discusses the termination of TPS for Nepal and Honduras.
The Rise and Decline of the Alien Tort Statute
This report explains the original purpose of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), restrictions placed on the ATS by the Supreme Court, the effect of the recent case Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC, and the response from Congress.
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report discusses the Iran nuclear agreement that was made on July 14, 2015 and the lifting of sanctions related to their nuclear weapons programs which occurred on January 16, 2016. It also outlines Iran's obligations under the agreement and Congressional discussion of adjustments to the agreement or withdrawal.
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It includes two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation.
From Slip Law to United States Code: A Guide to Federal Statutes for Congressional Staff
This report provides an overview of federal statutes in their various forms, as well as basic guidance for congressional staff interested in researching statutes.
The Travel Ban Case and Nationwide Injunctions
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
Third Circuit Invalidates "De Facto" Life Sentences for "Non-Incorrigible" Juvenile Offenders
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.
Can Corporations be Held Liable Under the Alien Tort Statute?
This report is an update of an earlier report discussing the Supreme Court case of "Jesner v. Arab Bank" which reports the final decision that foreign corporations such as Arab Bank may not be brought as defendants in lawsuits under the Alien Tort Statute.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
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.
The Consumer Product Safety Act: A Legal Analysis
This report provides a legal overview of the Consumer Product Safety Act's (CPSC) structure, jurisdiction, and statutory powers under the CPSA.
Frequently Asked Questions about Prescription Drug Pricing and Policy
This report answers frequently asked questions about prescription drug pricing regulations and policy.
Overview of "Travel Ban" Litigation and Recent Developments
This report is an update of an earlier report regarding the "travel ban" litigation going through the courts and includes President Trump's April 10th,2018, executive order lifting travel restrictions on nationals of Chad.
The President's Authority to the National Guard or the Armed Forces to Secure the Border
This report discusses the President's legal authority to send the National Guard or regular military forces to secure the U.S. border with Mexico and examines the statutes and precedent related to such uses of Presidential authority.
The H-2B Visa and the Statutory Cap: In Brief
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.
Murderous Schemes are not Violent Crimes?
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.
The Orderly Liquidation Authority: Reform Proposals
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.
Legal Authorities Under the Controlled Substances Act to Combat the Opioid Crisis
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.
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
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.
Special Counsels, Independent Counsels, and Special Prosecutors: Legal Authority and Limitations on Independent Executive Investigations
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.
Regulatory Reform 10 Years After the Financial Crisis: Systemic Risk Regulation of Non-Bank Financial Institutions
This report discusses the progress of regulatory reform for non-bank financial institutions since the 2008 financial crisis.
Class Action Lawsuits: A Legal Overview for the 115th Congress
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.
An Overview of Discretionary Reprieves from Removal: Deferred Action, DACA, TPS, and Others
This report provides an overview of the various deferred action immigration programs in the U.S. (DACA, TPS, etc.) and their various regulations and protections.
Tort and Litigation Reform in the 115th Congress
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.
Sexual Harassment and Title VII: Selected Legal Issues
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.
What Happens When Five Supreme Court Justices Can't Agree?
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.
FDIC's Deposit Insurance Assessments and Reserve Ratio
This report discusses the FDIC's deposit insurance assessments and reserve ratio used to guarantee the repayment of deposits at a bank up to the insured level.
District Court Decision May Help Pave the Way for Trump Administration's Border Wall Plans
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.
S. 2155 and Enhanced Regulation for Large Banks
This report discusses regulations for large banks under the Dodd-Frank Act and recently proposed changes to the regulations proposed in S. 2155.
Clarifying "Gibberish": Supreme Court Holds That State Courts Can Hear Securities Act Lawsuits
This report discusses the background of the case of "Cyan Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund", the Supreme Court's decision, and the decision's implications for securities litigation.
Tricks of the Trade: Section 301 Investigation of Chinese Intellectual Property Practices Concludes (Part 2)
This report is the part two of two of a report on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) recently concluded its investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (the "Section 301 Investigation") "to determine whether acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce." This part of the report applies the general legal framework to this specific Section 301 Investigation, providing background on the investigation, describing the USTR's findings and the President's directives, and concluding by addressing what legal issues lie ahead.
Bankruptcy Basics: A Primer
This report serves as a primer for Members and their staffs on the basics of U.S. bankruptcy law. The report provides a brief overview of the most essential concepts necessary for an informed understanding of the U.S. bankruptcy system
FDA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS): Description and Effect on Generic Drug Development
This report provides a brief history of FDA drug regulation, describes FDA's early risk management programs, and focuses on the agency's current risk management authorities, specifically risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMS). The report also discusses issues that have arisen as a result of REMS, particularly the impact on generic drug competition. While this report generally focuses on REMS in the context of generic drug development, the issues discussed are also relevant to biological and biosimilar product development.
Update of "All Eyes on Allergan: Drug Company's Unprecedented Move Raises Questions for Patent and Drug Law (Part 1)"
This report is an update of a previous report discussing the case of "Allergan Inc. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc." which deals with patent law and the rights of brand-name pharmaceutical companies and generic pharmaceutical companies as well as Native American tribes sovereign rights because the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is a co-plaintiff in the case. The case is currently in the appeals process.
Jrisdiction Stripping: When May Congress Prohibit the Courts from Hearing a Case?
This report discusses the Supreme Court case of "Patchak v. Zinke" and its relevance to Congress. It begins by briefly describing the Court's prior attempts to demarcate the boundaries of Congress's power to take cases away from the federal judiciary. It then discusses the facts and opinions in Patchak and analyzes the effect Patchak may have on Congress's legislative objectives.
Modes of Constitutional Interpretation
This report provides a brief overview of the major theories of constitutional interpretation.
Can the Government Prohibit 18-Year Olds From Purchasing Firearms?
This report discusses whether the federal government can prevent 18 year old individuals from buying firearms. The report examines case law regarding the issue.
The Constitutionality of Censuring the President
This report discusses whether Congressional censure of the President is constitutional and provides examples of past Congressional censures of presidents.
Does Executive Privilege Apply to the Communications of a President-elect?
This report discusses the concept of executive privilege and whether the communications of a president-elect are protected by executive privilege.