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The Nordic Countries and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of U.S. relations with the five Nordic countries -- Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden -- which share deep historical, linguistic, and cultural ties and many political and economic similarities. Topics include foreign and security policies, policies toward Russia, and countering terrorism.
Date: September 13, 2018
Creator: Archick, Kristin

Federal Role in U.S. Campaigns and Elections: An Overview

Description: This report provides a resource for understanding the current campaigns and elections regulatory structure. It addresses those areas of law and public policy that most directly and routinely affect American campaigns and elections: campaign finance; election administration; election security; redistricting; qualifications and contested elections; and voting rights.
Date: September 4, 2018
Creator: Garrett, R. Sam

Cuba: U.S. Policy in the 115th Congress

Description: This report examines U.S. policy toward Cuba in the 115th Congress in three sections: Cuba's political and economic environment; U.S. policy toward Cuba; and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations, including restrictions on travel and trade, funding for democracy and human rights projects in Cuba and for U.S. government-sponsored radio and television broadcasting, migration, anti-drug cooperation, U.S. property claims, and U.S. fugitives from justice in Cuba.
Date: September 1, 2018
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.

Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides information and analysis on Turkish relations with the United States, Russia, Syria, and Kurdish groups. Domestic issues in Turkey include economic issues and President Erdogan's increasing authoritarianism.
Date: August 31, 2018
Creator: Zanotti, Jim & Thomas, Clayton

India: Religious Freedom Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of religious freedom issues in India including a broad discussion of the religious demographics and freedoms, and human rights. It also discusses specific areas of religiously-motivated repression and violence and perceived assaults on freedoms of expression and operations by nongovernmental organizations that are seen as harmful to India's secular traditions and the U.S-promoted goal of interfaith tolerance.
Date: August 30, 2018
Creator: Kronstadt, K. Alan

Questioning Judicial Nominees: Legal Limitations and Practice

Description: This report examines the relevant considerations for questioning judicial nominees. It describes applicable canons of judicial ethics that may discourage judicial nominees from answering certain questions posed by Members of Congress; which types of questions prior federal judicial nominees have answered or declined to answer, focusing on nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court; and some takeaways for Members.
Date: August 30, 2018
Creator: Lewis, Kevin M. & Brannon, Valerie C.

The "Flores Settlement" and Alien Families Apprehended at the U.S. Border: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report answers frequently asked legal questions pertaining to the Flores Settlement and the settlement's impact on the detention of alien families apprehended at or near the U.S. border. In particular, the report addresses (1) background of the litigation, (2) how the Settlement restricts DHS's power to keep families in detention, (3) the relationship between the Ms. L. litigation and the Settlement, (4) the executive branch's policy options under the Settlement, and (5) the extent to which either the executive branch or Congress can override or modify the terms of the Flores Settlement.
Date: August 28, 2018
Creator: Peck, Sarah Herman & Harrington, Ben

Yemen: Civil War and Regional Intervention

Description: This report provides information on the ongoing crisis in Yemen. Now in its fourth year, the war in Yemen shows no signs of abating. On June 12, 2018, the Saudi-led coalition, a multinational grouping of armed forces led primarily by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), launched Operation Golden Victory, with the aim of retaking the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah. The coalition also has continued to conduct air strikes inside Yemen. The war has killed thousands of Yemenis, including combatants as well as civilians, and has significantly damaged the country's infrastructure. According to the United Nations (U.N.) High Commissioner for Human Rights, from the start of the conflict in March 2015 through August 9, 2018, the United Nations documented "a total of 17,062 civilian casualties -- 6,592 dead and 10,470 injured." This figure may vastly underestimate the war's death toll.
Date: August 24, 2018
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court

Description: This report provides an overview of Judge Kavanaugh's jurisprudence and discusses his potential impact on the Court if he were to be confirmed to succeed Justice Kennedy. It focuses upon those areas of law where Justice Kennedy can be seen to have influenced the High Court's approach to certain issues or served as a fifth and deciding vote on the Court, with a view toward how Judge Kavanaugh might approach these same issues.
Date: August 21, 2018
Creator: Nolan, Andrew & Lewis, Caitlain Devereaux

Calling Balls and Strikes: Ethics and Supreme Court Justices

Description: This report examines questions related to the integrity and independence of the Supreme Court, and Congress's potential role in regulating the ethics of the Supreme Court Justices. For example: What mechanisms ensure the integrity of Justices as federal officials? Are Justices subject to any rules of ethical conduct? How might such ethics rules be enforced?
Date: August 20, 2018
Creator: Brown, Cynthia

MS-13 in the United States and Federal Law Enforcement Efforts

Description: This report provides a brief background on the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a violent criminal gang operating in the United States and abroad--namely Central America. It focuses on MS-13's structure and criminal activities in the U.S. and highlights law enforcement initiatives to counter the gang's illicit activities. The report also provides an overview of selected domestic policy issues Congress may examine as part of its efforts to counter MS-13.
Date: August 20, 2018
Creator: Finklea, Kristin

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. A total of 32 LCSs have been procured through FY2018. For FY2019, the Navy is requesting the procurement of the 33rd LCS. The LCS program presents several oversight issues for Congress. Congress's decisions on the program will affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: August 16, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald