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Supreme Court October Term 2016: A Review of Select Major Rulings

Description: This report highlights four particularly notable cases the Court heard and ruled on during the October 2016 term: Matal v. Tam, which examines the interplay between the First Amendment and trademark law; Sessions v. Morales-Santana, a case exploring the relationship between immigration law and the Court's Equal Protection jurisprudence; Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, the latest chapter in the Court's Free Exercise jurisprudence; and Ziglar v. Abbasi, a case limiting the types of damages claims that can be asserted against federal officers for alleged constitutional violations under the Bivens doctrine. Each case is addressed in a separate section below, which provides background information on the case; summarizes the arguments that were presented to the Court; explains the Court's ultimate ruling; and examines the implications that the Court's ruling could have for Congress, including broader ramifications for jurisprudence in a given area of law.
Date: September 15, 2017
Creator: Nolan, Andrew; Brown, Cynthia; Garcia, Michael John; Lewis, Caitlin Devereaux & Peck, Sarah Herman
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

Description: This report provides an overview of the federal response to domestic violence--defined broadly to include acts of physical and nonphysical violence against spouses and other intimate partners--through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). The report begins with background on the definitions of domestic violence, family violence, and related terms. This background section also describes the risk factors for domestic violence and estimates of the number of victims. The next section of the report addresses the history leading up to the enactment of FVPSA, and the major components of the act: a national domestic violence hotline, support for domestic violence shelters and non-residential services, and coordination efforts to prevent domestic violence. The report then discusses recent efforts under FVPSA to assist children and youth exposed to domestic violence, including teen dating violence. Finally, the report provides an overview of FVPSA's interaction with other federal laws, including the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Date: September 13, 2017
Creator: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Sexual Assault: A Framework for Congressional Oversight

Description: This report provides a framework for Congressional analysis and oversight of sexual assault in the military and seeks to help congressional staff understand the legislative and policy landscape, link proposed solutions with potential impact metrics, and identify possible gaps that remain unaddressed. Four categories of oversight and action related to sexual assault in the military are addressed; Department of Defense (DOD) management and accountability, prevention, victim protection and support, and military justice and investigation.
Date: September 12, 2017
Creator: Kamarck, Kristy N. & Torreon, Barbara Salazar
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Bill Primer Series: A Guide to Omnibus Legislation on Agriculture and Food Programs

Description: This report constitutes a guide to a series of two-page reports that examine the various programs and policies that comprise periodic omnibus legislation on farm and food policy, commonly known as "the farm bill." The current farm bill (P.L. 113-79) was signed into law in February 2014. Many of the programs authorized by the 2014 farm bill are scheduled to expire in 2018 unless Congress provides for an extension, or reauthorizes them. Without congressional action, key commodity support programs would revert to permanently authorized legislation from the 1930s and 1940s.
Date: September 11, 2017
Creator: McMinimy, Mark A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Financial CHOICE Act in the 115th Congress: Selected Policy Issues

Description: This report highlights major proposals included in the Financial CHOICE Act (FCA) but is not a comprehensive summary. In general, the bill proposes changes that can be divided into two categories: (1) changes to financial policies and regulations and (2) changes to the regulatory structure and rulemaking process. Major policy-related changes proposed by the FCA include the following: Leverage Ratio, Regulatory Relief, To Big To Fail, Funding, Rulemaking, Judicial Review, Enforcement, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Reserve.
Date: September 8, 2017
Creator: Labonte, Marc; Carpenter, David H.; Davis, Christopher M.; Perkins, David W.; Shorter, Gary & Webel, Baird
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Patentable Subject Matter Reform

Description: This report reviews the current law governing patentable subject matter and recent proposals for legislative reform. It begins by providing a basic overview of the patent system and introducing the principles of patentable subject matter. It then considers the leading Supreme Court decisions construing section 101 of the Patent Act. The report then considers the implications of these decisions within the information technology and life sciences industries. The report closes with a review of legislative reform options.
Date: September 8, 2017
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Issues in Autonomous Vehicle Deployment

Description: This report discusses issues related to autonomous vehicle regulations on the federal and state level and proposals by Congress to establish new regulatory rules (H.R. 3388) that would create a federal standard for autonomous vehicles and require state law to be in agreement with the federal law.
Date: September 5, 2017
Creator: Canis, Bill
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Retirement Benefits for Federal Law Enforcement Personnel

Description: This report discusses federal law enforcement officers enhanced retirement benefits due to mandatory retirement ages making these employees retire younger than the average government employee. Many individuals and employee groups who work in law enforcement-related positions, but who have not qualified as law enforcement officers for retirement purposes, have sought enhanced benefits through legislation in recent Congresses. Possible pros and cons of such legislation are discussed.
Date: September 5, 2017
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Presidential Pardons: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Description: This report provides a general overview of the pardon power and briefly addresses a few frequently-asked legal questions concerning its scope and application, such as: whether the President can issue a "prospective pardon, pardon himself or issue "secret" pardons, whether the acceptance of a pardon is an admission of guilt, and whether Congress can regulate the President's pardon power.
Date: August 28, 2017
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

State Innovation Waivers: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report answers nine frequently asked questions about the State Innovation Waiver program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that allows states to obtain waivers from certain areas of the program and instead use their own state run processes.
Date: August 28, 2017
Creator: Mach, Annie L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Health Coverage: Is the Government Contribution in Limbo?

Description: This report first provides an overview of the statutory framework governing congressional health coverage and the current Office of Personnel Management (OPM) rule, and then addresses certain legal considerations that may come into play should the Trump Administration take action to modify this existing rule.
Date: August 24, 2017
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Justice Department''s Role in Cyber Incident Response

Description: This report outlines the federal framework for cyber incident response, highlighting the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) role in this response. It also discusses challenges for federal law enforcement and potential policy issues for Congress.
Date: August 23, 2017
Creator: Finklea, Kristin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) Transitional Reinsurance Program

Description: This report provides an overview of one of the three risk-mitigation programs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the transitional reinsurance program. The first section of the report provides background information on reinsurance and the ACA risk-mitigation programs. The second section describes the components of the transitional reinsurance program, as well as implementation of and experience with the program. The third section discusses questions regarding the scope of HHS's authority to administer the transitional reinsurance program, including those raised by a 2016 Government Accountability Office report. Finally, the report includes a table in the Appendix that summarizes key aspects of the transitional reinsurance program.
Date: August 23, 2017
Creator: Uberoi, Namrata K. & Liu, Edward C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Domestic Terrorism: An Overview

Description: This report provides background regarding domestic terrorists--detailing what constitutes the domestic terrorism threat as suggested by publicly available U.S. government sources. It also illustrates some of the key factors involved in assessing this threat.
Date: August 21, 2017
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

For First Time, FinCEN Imposes Penalty on Foreign-Based Virtual Currency Exchange for Violations of Anti-Money Laundering Laws

Description: This report discusses the first case of enforcement by the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) against a foreign-based virtual currency exchange. The action was taken agains BTC-e for violations of anti-money laundering regulations in the U.S. and potential money laundering activities.
Date: August 17, 2017
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of the U.S. Financial Regulatory Framework

Description: This report attempts to set out the basic frameworks and principles underlying U.S. financial regulation and to give some historical context for the development of that system. The first section briefly discusses the various modes of financial regulation and the next section identifies the major federal regulators and the types of institutions they supervise (see Table 1). It then provides a brief overview of each federal financial regulatory agency. Finally, the report discusses other entities that play a role in financial regulation--interagency bodies, state regulators, and international standards.
Date: August 17, 2017
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Charlottesville Car Crash Attack: Possibility of Federal Criminal Prosecution

Description: This report discusses the announcement that the Charlottesville, Virginia car crash attack is being investigated as a federal civil rights case. It also outlines the sections of the federal law under which the attack could be classified.
Date: August 15, 2017
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran.
Date: August 4, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Selected International Insurance Issues in the 115th Congress

Description: This report discusses trade in insurance services and summarizes the various international entities and agreements affecting the regulation of and trade in insurance. It then addresses particular issues and controversies in greater depth, including a focus on the pending U.S.-EU covered agreement, and concludes with a section on issues relating to international insurance standards.
Date: July 27, 2017
Creator: Webel, Baird & Fefer, Rachel F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department