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Bond v. United States: Validity and Construction of the Federal Chemical Weapons Statute

Description: This report discusses the case of Bond v. United States, and implications in regards to the Necessary and Proper Clause. Carol Anne Bond, upon discovering that her husband had impregnated another woman, repeatedly dusted the woman's mail box, front door knob, and car door handles with a toxic chemical. Mrs. Bond was indicted in federal court and pled guilty to possessing a chemical weapon, but reserved the right to appeal. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected her constitutional challenge. A concurring member of the panel, however, urged the Supreme Court to clarify the nearly century-old pronouncement in Missouri v. Holland.
Date: February 21, 2013
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Constitutionality of Campaign Finance Regulation: Buckley v. Valeo and Its Supreme Court Progeny

Description: This report first discusses the key holdings enunciated by the Supreme Court in Buckley, including those upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court's extension of Buckley in several subsequent cases, evaluating them in various regulatory contexts: contribution limits, expenditure limits, disclosure requirements, and political party soft money and electioneering communication restrictions.
Date: November 18, 2008
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bills of Attainder: The Constitutional Implications of Congress Legislating Narrowly

Description: This report discusses congressional bills of attainder, defined by the Supreme Court as "law[s] that legislatively determine guilt and inflict punishment upon an identifiable individual without provision of the protections of a judicial trial." The report specifically examines the two main criteria courts use to determine whether legislation is a bill of attainder: specificity and punishment.
Date: August 26, 2014
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Doctrine of Constitutional Avoidance: A Legal Overview

Description: 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).
Date: September 2, 2014
Creator: Nolan, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Origination Clause of the U.S. Constitution: Interpretation and Enforcement

Description: This report analyzes congressional and court precedents regarding bills under Article I, Section 7, clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution (known as the Origination Clause). It also describes the various ways in which the Origination Clause has been enforced and looks at the application of the Clause to other types of legislation.
Date: May 10, 2002
Creator: Saturno, James V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: The Constitutionality of Congressional Term Limits and the Presidential Line Item Veto

Description: While the Supreme Court seems unlikely to address the constitutionality of term limits or the line-item veto in the future, Justice Stevens's conclusion that the absence of constitutional provisions expressly authorizing the exercise of certain powers constitutes a denial of these powers seems likely to influence the Court in the future, particularly in cases involving what Justice Kennedy and others have characterized as "horizontal" or "vertical" separation of powers.
Date: May 18, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Article V Convention for Proposing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives for Congress

Description: This report offers perspectives for Congress on the Article V Convention, opening with an overview of the provisions in Article V that established the convention procedure. The report further examines its origins at the Constitutional Convention of 1787; the history of the convention alternative, focusing on three major 20th century campaigns to convene a constitutional convention; and the role of the states in the Article V Convention process.
Date: October 22, 2012
Creator: Neale, Thomas H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background

Description: This report discusses the USA PATRIOT Act (107-56) and its expanded authority to issue national security letters (NSLs). A report by the Department of Justice's Inspector General (IG) found that in its pre-amendment use of expanded USA PATRIOT Act authority the FBI had "used NSLs in violation of applicable NSL statutes, Attorney General Guidelines, and internal FBI policies," but that no criminal laws had been broken.
Date: July 31, 2015
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Education Vouchers: Constitutional Issues and Cases

Description: This report details the constitutional standards that currently apply to indirect aid programs and summarizes all of the pertinent state and federal court decisions, including the Ohio case that will be heard by the Supreme Court. On September 25, 2001, the Supreme Court agreed to review a case raising the controversial issue of the constitutionality of education vouchers. In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris the Sixth Circuit held Ohio’s Pilot Scholarship Program, which provided up to $2500 to help low-income students in Cleveland’s public schools attend private schools in the city, to violate the establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment.
Date: July 16, 2002
Creator: Ackerman, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Education Vouchers: Constitutional Issues and Cases

Description: This report details the constitutional standards that currently apply to indirect aid programs and summarizes all of the pertinent state and federal court decisions, including the Ohio case that will be heard by the Supreme Court. On September 25, 2001, the Supreme Court agreed to review a case raising the controversial issue of the constitutionality of education vouchers. In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris the Sixth Circuit held Ohio’s Pilot Scholarship Program, which provided up to $2500 to help low-income students in Cleveland’s public schools attend private schools in the city, to violate the establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment.
Date: September 10, 2002
Creator: Ackerman, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Education Vouchers: Constitutional Issues and Cases

Description: This report details the constitutional standards that currently apply to indirect aid programs and summarizes all of the pertinent state and federal court decisions, including the Ohio case that will be heard by the Supreme Court. On September 25, 2001, the Supreme Court agreed to review a case raising the controversial issue of the constitutionality of education vouchers. In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris the Sixth Circuit held Ohio’s Pilot Scholarship Program, which provided up to $2500 to help low-income students in Cleveland’s public schools attend private schools in the city, to violate the establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment.
Date: April 8, 2003
Creator: Ackerman, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Education Vouchers: Constitutional Issues and Cases

Description: This report details the constitutional standards that currently apply to indirect school aid programs and summarizes all of the pertinent Supreme Court decisions, with particular attention to Zelman. It also summarizes the pending case of Davey v. Locke and other recent and ongoing state and lower federal court cases concerning vouchers.
Date: May 20, 2003
Creator: Ackerman, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Education Vouchers: Constitutional Issues and Cases

Description: This report details the constitutional standards that currently apply to indirect aid programs and summarizes all of the pertinent state and federal court decisions, including the Ohio case that will be heard by the Supreme Court. On September 25, 2001, the Supreme Court agreed to review a case raising the controversial issue of the constitutionality of education vouchers. In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris the Sixth Circuit held Ohio’s Pilot Scholarship Program, which provided up to $2500 to help low-income students in Cleveland’s public schools attend private schools in the city, to violate the establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment.
Date: December 19, 2000
Creator: Ackerman, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Education Vouchers: The Constitutional Standards

Description: The Court’s decisions permit a limited degree of public aid to be provided directly and a broader range of assistance indirectly. This report sketches the constitutional standards that apply to public aid to sectarian schools and especially to programs of indirect assistance such as education vouchers. It also summarizes recent significant state court decisions involving vouchers.
Date: June 11, 1998
Creator: Ackerman, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electricity Restructuring and the Constitutionality of Retail Reciprocity Requirements

Description: Retail reciprocity requirements have been included in the electricity restructuring legislation of at least four states. These requirements mandate generally that out-of-state utilities which operate in a state “closed” to retail competition cannot market power to retail consumers in the “open” state. Because state reciprocity requirements enacted without congressional authorization are probably unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Congress would have to include a reciprocity provision in federal electricity restructuring legislation if it wants to support the view that such a provision will increase competition. This report reviews the treatment of state reciprocity requirements by the U.S. Supreme Court and discusses Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause.
Date: March 9, 2000
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Constitutionality of Including the Phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance

Description: On October 14, 2003, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the appeal regarding the California statute, and on June 14, 2004, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision finding that Newdow lacked standing to challenge the school district’s policy in federal court. This report summarizes the facts of the case, the opinions that have been rendered, congressional action, and the appeal to the Supreme Court. It will be updated as circumstances warrant.
Date: June 18, 2004
Creator: Welborn, Angie A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Gun Control Laws: The Second Amendment and Other Constitutional Issues

Description: This report examines the historical, legal, and constitutional arguments for and against an individual right to bear firearms under the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Those who favor federal gun control laws tend to assert that the Second Amendment has been correctly interpreted by the courts to confer only a collective right, which may be exercised through state militias. Those who oppose gun control laws tend to assert that the Second Amendment should be interpreted to grant an individual right to bear arms for lawful purposes, subject to appropriately minimal restrictions.
Date: February 1, 1995
Creator: Schrader, Dorothy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department