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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

Judicial Fact-Finding and Criminal Sentencing: Current Practice and Potential Change

Description: This report provides an overview of criminal sentencing law by briefly describing the use of relevant conduct under the Guidelines and tracing the Supreme Court case law that has informed the practice, before addressing judicial commentary and recently proposed legislation regarding the use of acquitted or uncharged conduct at sentencing.
Date: August 24, 2018
Creator: Foster, Michael A.

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.

CFIUS Reform: Foreign Investment National Security Reviews

Description: This report discusses recent legislation, known as the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) of 2018. The legislation amends the current process for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review -- on behalf of the President -- the national security implications of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States.
Date: August 22, 2018
Creator: Jackson, James K. & Cimino-Isaacs, Cathleen D.

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