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Supreme Court: Length of the Scalia Vacancy in Historical Context

Description: This report provides data and analysis related to the potential length of the current vacancy on the Supreme Court caused by the death of Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016. Specifically, this report provides the number of days the Scalia vacancy will have existed on specified future dates if a nominee has not been confirmed.
Date: August 26, 2016
Creator: McMillion, Barry J.

U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses Special Operations Forces (SOF), which play a significant role in U.S. military operations and, in recent years, have been given greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. A potential issue for Congress is the Administration's decision to send U.S. SOF forces to Syria.
Date: January 6, 2017
Creator: Feickert, Andrew

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: January 31, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

U.S. Trade in Services: Trends and Policy Issues

Description: This report provides background information and analysis on U.S. international trade in services, as well as policy issues. It examines emerging issues and current negotiations, including the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).
Date: December 6, 2016
Creator: Fefer, Rachel F.

China-U.S. Trade Issues

Description: This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, both with respect to the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation.
Date: January 4, 2017
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.

Creating a Federal Advisory Committee in the Executive Branch

Description: This report report provides a brief overview on how Congress can establish federal advisory committees, and provides some considerations as to why a federal advisory committee may or may not be an appropriate mechanism to assist a particular policy or funding question. The report also explores why Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) may or may not be appropriate for application to particular advisory committees. It presents data on the number of active FACA committees established by Congress with special emphasis on the committees established in FY2015. This report concludes by presenting a list of the federal advisory committees currently proposed for statutory establishment in the 114th Congress.
Date: December 9, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy & Burgat, Casey

March-In Rights Under the Bayh-Dole Act

Description: This report reviews the availability of march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act. It begins by providing a brief overview of the patent system and innovation policy, then introduces the Bayh-Dole Act. The report also reviews specific details of the march-in authority provided to federal agencies, considers past efforts to obtain march-in authorization from NIH, and identifies potential issues for congressional consideration.
Date: August 22, 2016
Creator: Thomas, John R.

General Policy Statements: Legal Overview

Description: This report examines one type of guidance document of particular recent prominence: agency policy statements. It explores judicial doctrine regarding the difference between legislative rules and statements of policy; discusses when such statements are judicially reviewable; analyzes when courts will grant deference to agency interpretations contained in guidance documents; and notes the relative costs and benefits of potential judicial and statutory rules regarding their use.
Date: April 14, 2016
Creator: Cole, Jared P. & Garvey, Todd