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Federal Tort Claims Act

Description: The Federal Tort Claims Act is the statute by which the United States authorizes tort suits to be brought against itself. With exceptions, it makes the United States liable for injuries caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any federal employee acting within the scope of his employment, in accordance with the law of the state where the act or omission occurred. This report discusses, among other things, the application of the Feres doctrine to suits for injuries caused by medical malpractice in the military, the prohibition of suits by victims of atomic testing, Supreme Court cases interpreting the discretionary function exception, the extent to which federal employees may be held liable for torts they commit in the scope of their employment, and the government contractor defense to products liability design defect suits.
Date: April 27, 2009
Creator: Cohen, Henry & Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Judge Samuel Alito's Opinions in Freedom of Speech Cases

Description: This report examines his major judicial opinions, both for the majority and in dissent, in freedom of speech cases. It also briefly discusses some cases in which he joined the opinion for the court but did not write it. This report examines Judge Alito’s free speech opinions by subject area.
Date: December 9, 2005
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004 (S. 2290, 108th Congress)

Description: This report provides an overview of S. 2290, 108th Congress, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004 (or FAIR Act of 2004). The bill is a revised version of S. 1125, 108th Congress, and would create the Office of Asbestos Disease Compensation to award damages to asbestos claimants on a no-fault basis. Asbestos claims could no longer be filed or pursued under state law, except for the enforcement of judgments no longer subject to any appeal or judicial review before the date of enactment of the bill.
Date: April 14, 2004
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medical Malpractice Liability Reform: H.R. 5, 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses H.R. 5, which would preempt state law regarding some aspects of medical malpractice liability and liability for defective medical products, including drugs. The legislation would among other things, place caps on noneconomic and punitive damages (in states that have not enacted and do not enact caps), eliminate joint and several liability, modify the collateral source rule, limit lawyers' contingent fees, enact a federal statute of limitations, and provide for periodic payment of future damages.
Date: January 18, 2006
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Constitutionality of Requiring Sexually Explicit Material on the Internet to be Under a Separate Domain Name

Description: This report discusses the constitutionality of proposal that there be a separate domain on the Internet exclusively for websites that contain sexually explicit material; it might be labeled “.xxx” to complement the current “.com,” “.org,” and others.
Date: January 18, 2006
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gun Industry Liability: Lawsuits and Legislation

Description: This report discusses gun industry liability issues after the Maryland Court of Appeals announced that it was changing the common law "to hold the manufacturers and marketers of Saturday Night Special handguns strictly liable to innocent persons who suffer gunshot injuries from the criminal use of their products." Kelley v. R.G. Industries, Inc., 497 A.2d 1143, 1159 (Md. 1985).
Date: March 30, 1999
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Description: his report examines federal law regarding obscenity and indecency. The First Amendment provides: “Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” In general, the First Amendment protects pornography, with this term being used to mean any erotic material. The Supreme Court, however, has held that the First Amendment does not protect two types of pornography: obscenity and child pornography. Consequently, they may be banned on the basis of their content, and federal law prohibits the mailing of obscenity, as well as its transport or receipt in interstate or foreign commerce.
Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Brief Background and Recent Developments

Description: The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. ...” The First Amendment applies, with two exceptions, to pornography, with that term being used to refer to any words or pictures of a sexual nature. This report discusses the two exceptions, which are obscenity and child pornography; because these are not protected by the First Amendment, they may be, and have been, made illegal. Pornography and “indecent” material that are protected by the First Amendment may nevertheless be restricted in order to limit minors’ access to them.
Date: October 6, 2009
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Brief Summaries of Federal Animal Protection Statutes

Description: This report contains brief summaries of federal animal protection statutes, listed alphabetically. It includes statutes enacted to implement treaties, those that protect certain groups of animals (e.g., protection of "game" animals rather than predators), statutes to conserve fish, statutes that allow the disabled to use service animals, and statutes aimed at acts of animal rights advocates (the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, and the Recreational Hunting Safety and Preservation Act of 1994).
Date: October 16, 2006
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Description: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .” This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally. It restricts government more in that it applies not only to Congress, but to all branches of the federal government, and to all branches of state and local government. It restricts government less in that it provides no protection to some types of speech and only limited protection to others. This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment — of the ways that the Supreme Court has interpreted the guarantee of freedom of speech and press to provide no protection or only limited protection for some types of speech.
Date: November 20, 2002
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Description: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .” This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally. It restricts government more in that it applies not only to Congress, but to all branches of the federal government, and to all branches of state and local government. It restricts government less in that it provides no protection to some types of speech and only limited protection to others. This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment — of the ways that the Supreme Court has interpreted the guarantee of freedom of speech and press to provide no protection or only limited protection for some types of speech.
Date: November 5, 2001
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Description: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .” This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally. It restricts government more in that it applies not only to Congress, but to all branches of the federal government, and to all branches of state and local government. It restricts government less in that it provides no protection to some types of speech and only limited protection to others. This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment — of the ways that the Supreme Court has interpreted the guarantee of freedom of speech and press to provide no protection or only limited protection for some types of speech.
Date: January 7, 2004
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Description: This report examines federal law regarding obscenity and indecency. The First Amendment provides: “Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” In general, the First Amendment protects pornography, with this term being used to mean any erotic material. The Supreme Court, however, has held that the First Amendment does not protect two types of pornography: obscenity and child pornography. Consequently, they may be banned on the basis of their content, and federal law prohibits the mailing of obscenity, as well as its transport or receipt in interstate or foreign commerce.
Date: May 2, 2003
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, H.R. 1036 and S. 659, 108th Congress: Legal Analysis

Description: This report examines H.R. 1036, 108th Congress, as ordered to be reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on April 3, 2003, and passed by the House without amendment on April 9, 2003. H.R. 1036, titled the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” would prohibit lawsuits, except in specified circumstances, against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm or ammunition, or a trade association, for damages resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm or ammunition.
Date: March 1, 2004
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Description: The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009- 26, added a definition of “child pornography” that include visual depictions of what appears to be a minor engaging in explicit sexual conduct, even if no actual minor was used in producing the depiction. On April 16, 2002, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the Supreme Court held this provision unconstitutional to the extent that it prohibited pictures that were not produced with actual minors. (This case is discussed under “Section 2256,” below.) In response to Ashcroft, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would continue to ban some child pornography that was produced without an actual minor; on June 25, 2002, the House passed one such bill: H.R. 4623, 107th Congress.
Date: November 13, 2002
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Description: The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009- 26, added a definition of “child pornography” that include visual depictions of what appears to be a minor engaging in explicit sexual conduct, even if no actual minor was used in producing the depiction. On April 16, 2002, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the Supreme Court held this provision unconstitutional to the extent that it prohibited pictures that were not produced with actual minors. (This case is discussed under “Section 2256,” below.) In response to Ashcroft, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would continue to ban some child pornography that was produced without an actual minor; on June 25, 2002, the House passed one such bill: H.R. 4623, 107th Congress.
Date: June 26, 2002
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Description: The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009- 26, added a definition of “child pornography” that include visual depictions of what appears to be a minor engaging in explicit sexual conduct, even if no actual minor was used in producing the depiction. On April 16, 2002, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the Supreme Court held this provision unconstitutional to the extent that it prohibited pictures that were not produced with actual minors. (This case is discussed under “Section 2256,” below.) In response to Ashcroft, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would continue to ban some child pornography that was produced without an actual minor; on June 25, 2002, the House passed one such bill: H.R. 4623, 107th Congress.
Date: May 2, 2003
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Description: The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009- 26, added a definition of “child pornography” that include visual depictions of what appears to be a minor engaging in explicit sexual conduct, even if no actual minor was used in producing the depiction. On April 16, 2002, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the Supreme Court held this provision unconstitutional to the extent that it prohibited pictures that were not produced with actual minors. (This case is discussed under “Section 2256,” below.) In response to Ashcroft, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would continue to ban some child pornography that was produced without an actual minor; on June 25, 2002, the House passed one such bill: H.R. 4623, 107th Congress.
Date: October 15, 2003
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Description: The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009- 26, added a definition of “child pornography” that include visual depictions of what appears to be a minor engaging in explicit sexual conduct, even if no actual minor was used in producing the depiction. On April 16, 2002, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the Supreme Court held this provision unconstitutional to the extent that it prohibited pictures that were not produced with actual minors. (This case is discussed under “Section 2256,” below.) In response to Ashcroft, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would continue to ban some child pornography that was produced without an actual minor; on June 25, 2002, the House passed one such bill: H.R. 4623, 107th Congress.
Date: June 25, 2003
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department