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Recent State Election Law Challenges: In Brief

Description: This report begins by setting forth key constitutional provisions relevant to recent state election law challenges. Next, it discusses federal statutory provisions contained in the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act and briefly examines pertinent Supreme Court precedent. Then, based on that legal framework, it provides an overview of several recent challenges to state election laws in Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas that resulted in major decisions by the various federal courts of appeals as illustrative examples of the types of challenges that have been playing out in the courts. Finally, the report discusses some potential implications of these challenges.
Date: November 2, 2016
Creator: Whitaker, L. P.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Treatment of Noncitizens Under the Affordable Care Act

Description: This report provides information regarding the treatment of noncitizens under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) including definitions of "lawfully present," the health insurance mandate, exchanges, and ACA changes to Medicaid. It also discusses the verification of alien status under the ACA and related legislation in the 113th Congress.
Date: October 27, 2016
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

State Voter Identification Requirements: Analysis, Legal Issues, and Policy Considerations

Description: This report provides an updated overview of state requirements for voters to present some form of ID before casting a ballot in a federal election. The report also discusses the origins of voter ID, relevant federal legislative action in the 114th Congress, and selected legal and policy issues related to state voter ID laws.
Date: October 21, 2016
Creator: Fischer, Eric A.; Garrett, R. S. & Whitaker, L. P.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy Policy: 114th Congress Issues

Description: This report begins by providing background on the economic rationale for energy market interventions; it highlights various market failures production and consumption of energy, and discusses possible interventions. The report concludes with an analysis of the current status of energy tax policy.
Date: September 30, 2016
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sea-Level Rise and U.S. Coasts: Science and Policy Considerations

Description: This report provides information for policymakers that are interested in sea-level rise because of the risk to coastal populations and infrastructure and the consequences for coastal species and ecosystems.
Date: September 12, 2016
Creator: Folger, Peter & Carter, Nicole T.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 114th Congress

Description: This report discusses border security, interior enforcement, visa security, asylum, and other immigration-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant congressional interest in the 114th Congress.
Date: September 9, 2016
Creator: Bruno, Andorra; Argueta, Carla N.; Bjelopera, Jerome P.; Garcia, Michael John; Kandel, William A. & Siskin, Alison
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Corporate Inversions: Frequently Asked Legal Questions

Description: This report answers frequently-asked legal questions about corporate inversions. It answers questions relating to the scope and operation of Section 7874, including how key statutory terms have been interpreted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It discusses important Department of Treasury regulations that were finalized in 2015 and 2016, and answers questions about the IRS's authority to issue these regulations. Other questions that are answered relate to legislation introduced in the 114th Congress, the interaction of Section 7874 with tax treaties, and the imposition of an excise tax on corporate insiders who benefit from an inversion.
Date: September 7, 2016
Creator: Lunder, Erika K.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Post-Heller Second Amendment Jurisprudence

Description: This report examines the scope of the Second Amendment, as interpreted by the federal circuit courts of appeals, after the watershed Supreme Court decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.
Date: September 7, 2016
Creator: Herman, Sarah S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: 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. Some general issues include Arctic territorial disputes; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic, which could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
Date: August 8, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA

Description: This report provides legal background on the Clean Power Plan rule (CPP or Rule) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), its Clean Air Act (CAA) framework under Section 111, and climate-related lawsuits that have preceded the present litigation over the CPP. It then gives an overview of the participants in the current litigation, including two groups of Members of Congress, who have offered briefs in support of the petitioners and the respondents, respectively.
Date: August 8, 2016
Creator: Wyatt, Alexandra M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evolution of the Meaning of "Waters of the United States" in the Clean Water Act

Description: This report examines the changing definition of the phrase, "waters of the United States." The scope of waters that are properly the subject of federal water pollution legislation has been the subject of long-standing consideration by all three branches of the federal government, particularly in the aftermath of the 1972 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act.
Date: August 8, 2016
Creator: Mulligan, Stephen P.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Circuit Rules on Trademarks Considered Offensive: May Affect Redskins Trademark Dispute

Description: This legal sidebar examines cases involving the revocation of the Washington Redskins' federally-registered trademarks (Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse) and the refusal to grant registration for a rock band's name (In re Tam). These cases raise questions about the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act of 1946 (conventionally known as the Lanham Act), which denies trademark registration to certain offensive content.
Date: August 8, 2016
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

State Challenges to Federal Enforcement of Immigration Law: From the Mid-1990s to the Present

Description: This report provides an overview of challenges by states to federal officials' alleged failure to enforce provisions of immigration law. It begins by discussing (1) the lawsuits filed by six states in the mid-1990s; (2) Arizona's counterclaims to the federal government's suit to enjoin enforcement of S.B. 1070; and (3) Mississippi's challenge to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. It then describes the challenge brought by over 25 states or state officials in December 2014 to the Obama Administration's proposal to expand DACA and create a similar program for unauthorized aliens whose children are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent resident aliens (LPRs) (commonly known as DAPA).
Date: August 1, 2016
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Department of the Interior's Final Rule on Offshore Well Control

Description: This report discusses regulations regarding blowout preventer systems and well control for oil and gas operations on the U.S. outer continental shelf (81 Fed. Reg. 25887). The regulations aim to reduce the risk of an offshore oil or gas blowout that could jeopardize human safety and harm the environment.
Date: June 16, 2016
Creator: Comay, Laura B.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Open Skies Treaty: Issues in the Current Debate

Description: This report discusses the current debate surrounding the Treaty on Open Skies, which the United States, Canada, and 22 European nations signed on March 24, 1992. The treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002, and now has 34 member states. Each participant must permit unarmed observation aircraft to fly over its entire territory to observe military forces and activities.
Date: June 10, 2016
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure

Description: This report discusses several options considered by Congress to address the financing needs of local communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects and to decrease or close the gap between available funds and projected needs.
Date: June 1, 2016
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Maguire, Steven & Mallett, William J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: 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. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future.
Date: May 31, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on maritime territorial and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) disputes in the East China (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS) involving China, with a focus on how these disputes may affect U.S. strategic and policy interests.
Date: May 31, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intellectual Property Rights Violations: Federal Civil Remedies and Criminal Penalties Related to Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and Trade Secrets

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC), which are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs.
Date: May 27, 2016
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Resurgence of Unaccompanied Alien Children?

Description: This report briefly examines the recently-high number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC). In the first seven months of FY2016, apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border have approached levels close to what they were in FY2014 when such migration flows reached what were characterized as "crisis" proportions.
Date: May 27, 2016
Creator: Kandel, William A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department