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The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides historical background of the Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions.
Date: December 14, 2009
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Protection of Children Online: Federal and State Laws Addressing Cyberstalking, Cyberharassment, and Cyberbullying

Description: This report discusses Internet crimes, such as cyberbullying, cyberharassment, and cyberstalking, along with the limitations of such laws in the current environment. While Congress, under the Commerce Clause, has authority to regulate the Internet, Internet "harassment" presents new challenges for legislators in terms of defining and prosecuting such activity.
Date: October 19, 2009
Creator: Smith, Alison M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Description: This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment - of the ways that the Supreme Court has interpreted the guarantee of freedom of speech and press to provide no protection or only limited protection for some types of speech. For example, the Court has decided that the First Amendment provides no protection to obscenity, child pornography, or speech that constitutes "advocacy of the use of force or of law violation ... where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."
Date: October 16, 2009
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legal Standing Under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause

Description: This report analyzes the constitutional issues associated with standing, specifically related to cases arising under the Establishment Clause. It provides a background on the doctrine of standing, including the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of various types of standing, including standing to sue as a citizen, as a taxpayer, and on behalf of another party.
Date: September 15, 2009
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
Date: September 2, 2009
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Government Information in the United States

Description: The U.S. Constitution makes no specific allowance for any one of the three branches of the federal government to have access to information held by the others. No provision in the U.S. Constitution expressly establishes a procedure for public access to government information. Congress has legislated various public access laws. Among these laws are two records access statutes, The Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and two meetings access statutes, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report offers an overview of the four information access laws noted above, and provides citations to additional resources related to these tools.
Date: August 31, 2009
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Issues for the 111th Congress

Description: This report includes a brief history of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), discusses subsequent modifications of FOIA, addresses statutory changes to FOIA that have not yet been implemented, examines Obama Administration efforts to modify the act, and outlines possible legislative issues related to the act.
Date: August 12, 2009
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

Description: The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba.
Date: August 10, 2009
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications

Description: Human rights has long been a principal area of U.S. concern in its relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC). Policy makers are at odds regarding whether or not the U.S. policy of engagement with China has produced meaningful political reform. This report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights - major human rights problems, new human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents.
Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Lum, Thomas & Fischer, Hannah
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: is report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights -- major human rights problems, new human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents.
Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Lum, Thomas & Fischer, Hannah
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications

Description: This report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights -- major human rights problems, new human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents.
Date: June 12, 2009
Creator: Lum, Thomas & Fischer, Hannah
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Description: On March 15, 2006, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution replacing the Commission on Human Rights with a new Human Rights Council (the Council). The Council was designed to be an improvement over the Commission, which was widely criticized for the composition of its membership when perceived human rights abusers were elected as members. This report discusses the history of the Council, the previous participation of the Bush Administration, the current participation of the Obama Administration, and ongoing international and Congressional concerns of the credibility and effectiveness of the Council.
Date: June 1, 2009
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gun Control: Statutory Disclosure Limitations on ATF Firearms Trace Data and Multiple Handgun Sales Reports

Description: This report briefly describes a provision known as the "Tiahrt" amendment, a rider on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) appropriations that prohibits ATF from disclosing firearm trace data and multiple handgun sales reports data for any purpose other than supporting a criminal investigatoin or agency licensing proceeding. The Tiahrt amendment is so called because its sponsor is Representative Todd Tiahrt. A coalition of 210 city mayors favors the repeal of this rider, but there is much opposition to that motion.
Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt.
Date: May 12, 2009
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legal Analysis of Religious Exemptions for Photo Identification Requirements

Description: This report analyzes the legal issues associated with religious exemptions to photo identification laws. Although no lawsuits appear to have challenged federal laws with photo requirements, state photo identification laws have been challenged for several decades.
Date: April 13, 2009
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court

Description: This report provides an overview of the early judicial developments and the establishment of Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) procedures; summarizes selected court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions; and discusses the Detainee Treatment Act, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Military Commissions Act of 2009, analyzing its effects on detainee-related litigation in federal court. The report summarizes the Supreme Court's decision in Boumediene invalidating Congress's efforts to revoke the courts' habeas jurisdiction, and discusses some remaining issues and subsequent developments.
Date: April 7, 2009
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K. & Garcia, Michael J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt.
Date: March 26, 2009
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides historical background of the Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions.
Date: March 11, 2009
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congress and U.S. Policy on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees: Recent Legislation and Implementation

Description: This report discusses U.S. policy and legislation in response to Pyongyang's human rights record. North Korea's systematic violation of its citizens' human rights and the plight of North Koreans trying to escape their country have been well documented in multiple reports issued by governments and other international bodies.
Date: January 30, 2009
Creator: Chanlett-Avery, Emma
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court

Description: This report provides an overview of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) procedures. It summarizes relevant court cases and the effect of the Detainee Treatment Act, as well as pending legislation. The report also provides an analysis of relevant constitutional issues that may have some bearing on Congress's options with respect to detainees held at Guantanamo and elsewhere.
Date: January 29, 2009
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.; Garcia, Michael J. & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department