Congressional Research Service Reports - 1,244 Matching Results

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Federal Statutes: What They Are and Where to Find Them
After providing an overview on the basics of federal statutes, this report gives guidance on where federal statutes, in their various forms, may be located in print and on the Internet.
International Law and Agreements: Their Effect upon U.S. Law
This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. This includes the role of different branches of government play in navigating such laws.
International Law and Agreements: Their Effect upon U.S. Law
This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. The report discusses forms of international agreements and the effects of international agreements on U.S. law.
International Law and Agreements: Their Effect Upon U.S. Law
This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. International law is derived from two primary sources — international agreements and customary practice.
The Doctrine of Constitutional Avoidance: A Legal Overview
This report discusses select issues regarding judicial review, and offers some contemporary views on the Ashwander Doctrine, under which the Supreme Court avoids ruling decisively in cases that it deems able to be resolved outside of the court, non-constitutionally (Constitutional Avoidance).
Obstruction of Justice: An Abridged Overview of Related Federal Criminal Laws
This report briefly discusses obstruction of justice, which is defined as the frustration of governmental purposes by violence, corruption, destruction of evidence, or deceit. This is an abridged version of CRS Report RL34304, Obstruction of Justice: An Overview of Some of the Federal Statutes That Prohibit Interference with Judicial, Executive, or Legislative Activities, by Charles Doyle, without the footnotes, quotations, or citations to authority found in the longer report.
International Law and Agreements: Their Effect Upon U.S. Law
This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. International law is derived from two primary sources--international agreements and customary practice. Under the U.S. legal system, international agreements can be entered into by means of a treaty or an executive agreement. The Constitution allocates primary responsibility for entering into such agreements to the executive branch, but Congress also plays an essential role.
Supreme Court October Term 2017: A Preview of Select Cases
This report highlights four of the notable cases of the new term that could impact the work of Congress: (1) Carpenter v. United States, which examines the limits the Fourth Amendment imposes on the warrantless collection of the historical cell phone location records of a criminal suspect; (2) Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a case exploring whether Congress, by prohibiting a state from partially repealing a state law, impermissibly commandeers the powers of the state; (3) Gill v. Whitford, which considers when a state's redistricting plan amounts to impermissible partisan gerrymandering; and (4) Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which asks whether a baker has a First Amendment right to decline to make cakes for same-sex weddings. Each case is addressed in a separate section that provides background information on the case; summarizes the arguments that were or are likely to be presented to the Court in each case; and examines the implications that the Court's ruling could have for Congress, including broader ramifications for the jurisprudence in a given area of law.
Independent Counsels, Special Prosecutors, Special Counsels, and the Role of Congress
Report that provides information on the procedure for the appointment of an "independent counsel," a "special prosecutor," or a "special counsel" to investigate and prosecute potential or possible violations of federal criminal law by officials in the executive branch of the federal government and in federal agencies.
International Law and Agreements: Their Effect upon U.S. Law
This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. This includes the role of different branches of government play in navigating such laws.
Supreme Court October Term 2017: A Review of Selected Major Rulings
This report highlights seven notable cases from the October Term 2017 that could impact the work of Congress: (1) Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis; (2) Carpenter v. United States; (3) Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); (4) Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 (AFSCME); (5) National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra; (6) Trump v. Hawaii; and (7) Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For each case it provides background information, summarizes the arguments presented to the Court, explains the Court's ruling, and examines the potential implications for Congress, including the ramifications for the jurisprudence in a given area of law.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure
This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. In addition, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally based limitations on the power. Finally, the report includes a discussion of the significance of the House Judiciary Committee dispute with the White House over the dismissal of several U.S. Attorneys that resulted in votes for criminal contempt of Congress and the United States District Court opinion in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure
This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. The report also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information-access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure
This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. It also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure
This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. It also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Responsibility Determinations Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Legal Standards and Procedures
This report discusses the standards and procedures that federal agencies use in making responsibility determinations under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). It discusses (1) how responsibility determinations relate to other mechanisms that the government relies upon to ensure that contractors are responsible and otherwise eligible for federal contracts; (2) the performance-related and collateral standards used in making responsibility determinations; (3) the procedures for making responsibility determinations; and (4) recently enacted or proposed amendments to the standards or procedures for responsibility determinations.
Responsibility Determinations Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Legal Standards and Procedures
This report discusses the standards and procedures that federal agencies use in making responsibility determinations under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). As a general rule, government agencies contract with the lowest qualified responsible bidder or offeror. Responsibility is an attribute of the contractor, while price and qualifications are attributes of the bid or offer. Under the FAR, "[n]o purchase or award shall be made unless the contracting officer makes an affirmative determination of responsibility."
State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement
This report discusses legal issues related to state and local measures that limit law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The report begins by providing a brief overview of the constitutional principles informing the relationship between federal immigration authorities and state and local jurisdictions, including the federal government's power to preempt state and local activities under the Supremacy Clause, and the Tenth Amendment's proscription against Congress directly "commandeering" the states to administer a federally enacted regulatory scheme.
Energy and Water Development: FY2010 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Money Laundering: An Abridged Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1956 and Related Federal Criminal Law
This is an overview of the elements of federal criminal money laundering statutes and the sanctions imposed for their violation.
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.
How Broad a Shield? A Brief Overview of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
This report discusses Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 which was added too the law in 1996 to provide liability protection to online service providers regarding what users posted on their sites. Concerns about criminal activity being allowed to continue by companies due to the law and internet freedom advocates support for the law are discussed.
Memorandum: Civil-Suit Provision in the House-Passed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38)
This report evaluates legal issues potentially arising from the civil-suit provision in H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which the House of Representatives passed on December 6, 2017
Energy and Water Development: FY2015 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement
This report discusses legal issues related to state and local measures that limit law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. It includes legal background and select limitations on immigration enforcement including traditional "sanctuary" policies, declining to honor immigration detainers, shielding juveniles from federal detection, and modifying criminal sentences to avoid immigration consequences.
Energy and Water Development: FY2014 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
A Primer on the Reviewability of Agency Delay and Enforcement Discretion
This report discusses the general legal principles applied in determining whether administrative delays are reviewable in court in these two different contexts and then address whether the procedures outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) are applicable to these delays.
Offices of Inspectors General and Law Enforcement Authority: In Brief
This report identifies the laws and regulations that vest certain offices of inspector general (OIGs) with law enforcement authority, which permits the use of guns and ammunition. This report also describes some of the requirements and expectations of OIGs that have law enforcement authority, and includes some reasons that OIGs have expressed a need for law enforcement authority.
Energy and Water Development: FY2015 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Conducting Foreign Relations Without Authority: The Logan Act
This report discusses the Logan Act, which was intended to prohibit United States citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments.
Remedies for Patent Infringement
This report discusses the current legal system rules for patent infringement cases and current bills introduced in Congress related to patents.
Supreme Court October Term 2016: A Review of Select Major Rulings
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.
Energy and Water Development: FY2014 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
A Second Amendment Right to Sell Firearms? The Ninth Circuit, Sitting En Banc, Weighs In
This report discusses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ninth Circuit) decision in "Teixeira v. County of Alameda" which reversed the original court decision which held that Second Amendment rights applied to commercial firearm sellers. The course of the case and decision and implications of the ruling are also discussed.
Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Enforcement: Legal Issues
This report begins by discussing the sources of federal power to regulate immigration and, particularly, the allocation of power between Congress and the President in this area. It next addresses the constitutional and other foundations for the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion, as well as the potential ways in which prosecutorial discretion may be exercised in the immigration context. It concludes by addressing potential constitutional, statutory, and administrative constraints upon the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
Statutory Canon Aimed at International Organization Immunity
This report discusses the upcoming Supreme Court case Jam v. International Finance Corp. The petitioners--a group of Indian nationals from Gujarat--seek to hold International Finance Corp. (IFC) liable for extensive environmental damage throughout their community caused by the construction of a power plant financed and overseen by IFC. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) dismissed their lawsuit, holding, in accordance with the circuit's precedent, that the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA) grants absolute immunity to IFC in this case.
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA.
Number of African American Judges Reaches All-Time High; Do Issues Remain?
This report provides historical and statistical information related to the appointment of African Americans as U.S. circuit and district court judges. Such information addresses ongoing congressional interest in the demographic characteristics of lower federal court judges.
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses the legislation in the 113th Congress regarding insurance regulation. Among the insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 113th Congress are the application of federal orderly liquidation authority to insurers (addressed in H.R. 605); the supervision of some insurers by the Federal Reserve (addressed in H.R. 2140, H.R. 4510, H.R. 5461, S. 2102, and S. 2270); and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (addressed in S. 534, S. 1926, S. 2244, H.R. 1155/H.R. 1064, and H.R. 4871).
Casework in a Congressional Office: Background, Rules, Laws, and Resources
This report discusses House and Senate rules and guidelines, laws, and regulations affecting congressional casework, as well as the role of caseworkers. It also provides sample outlines and document templates for implementing and managing congressional casework.
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA.
Congressional Lawmaking: A Perspective On Secrecy and Transparency
The objectives of this report are four-fold: first, to outline briefly the historical and inherent tension between secrecy and transparency in the congressional process; second, to review several common and recurring secrecy/transparency issues that emerged again with the 2011 formation of the Joint Select Deficit Reduction Committee; third, to identify various lawmaking stages typically imbued with closed door activities; and fourth, to close with several summary observations.
Nominations to U.S. Circuit and District Courts by President Obama During the 111th and 112th Congresses
Recent Senate debates in the 112th Congress over judicial nominations have focused on issues such as the relative degree of success of President Barack Obama's nominees in gaining Senate confirmation (compared with other recent Presidents) as well as the effect of delayed judicial appointments on judicial vacancy levels. The following report addresses these issues, and others, by providing a statistical overview of President Obama's nominees to U.S. circuit court of appeals and U.S. district court judgeships, current through May 31, 2012.
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
A look at government agencies spending on advertising.
In Any Way, Shape, or Form? What Qualifies as "Any Court" Under the Gun Control Act?
This report discusses the requirements under the Gun Control Act of 1968 that prohibit persons convicted of felony crimes and misdemeanor domestic violence from buying or possessing firearms and what courts are covered under the phrase "any court' in the legislation.
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
This report looks at what government agencies are spending on advertising, including the difficulties of estimating advertising expenditures and the restrictions on government advertising.
Selected Theories of Constitutional Interpretation
This report examines theories of constitutional interpretation, the role of the judiciary in this interpretation, and constitutional protections for fundamental rights.
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 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.
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