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Free Exercise of Religion by Secular Organizations and Their Owners: Implications for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Description: This report examines the constitutional and statutory protections related to free exercise of religion, including current Supreme Court interpretations, as well as judicial and legislative avoidance of defining the parameters of religious belief. It also discusses significant examples of existing religious exemptions in current law, such as employment nondiscrimination, health care, and public accommodations law. Finally, it analyzes recent federal judicial decisions that have considered the religious freedom rights of commercial entities whose owners have religious objections to the contraceptive coverage requirement.
Date: March 21, 2014
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deprivation of Honest Services as a Basis for Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Convictions

Description: The United States Supreme Court in Skilling v. United States construed the honest services branch of the federal mail and wire fraud statutes to reach no more than cases involving bribery or kickbacks. The mail and wire fraud statutes, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1343, impose criminal penalties for the use of mail or interstate wire communications to deprive another of money or property through a "scheme or artifice to defraud." This report discusses wire and mail fraud and examines relevant court cases.
Date: July 28, 2010
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

Free Exercise of Religion by Closely Held Corporations: Implications of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Description: This report analyzes the Court's decision in Hobby Lobby, including arguments made between the majority and dissent, to clarify the scope of the decision and potential impacts for future interpretation of RFRA's applicability. It also examines potential legislative responses, should Congress consider addressing the current applicability of RFRA. Finally, the report addresses the decision's effect on requirements that employers offer contraceptive coverage in group health plans under federal or state law.
Date: July 23, 2014
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: Selected Opinions on Intellectual Property Law

Description: This report briefly surveys decisions of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens in intellectual property cases. An examination of Justice Stevens' written opinions relating to intellectual property law reveals a strong desire to ensure that the rights of intellectual property creators are balanced with the rights of the public to access creative and innovative works.
Date: May 14, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: Leading Opinions on Wartime Detentions

Description: This report discusses the justice John Paul Stevens that played a pivotal role in determining the scope of executive-branch power in a post-9/11 world. After 9/11, Congress quickly authorized the Executive to respond to the terrorist attacks using military force
Date: May 13, 2010
Creator: Henning, Anna C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Free Exercise of Religion by Closely Held Corporations: Implications of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Description: This report analyzes the Court's decision in Hobby Lobby, including arguments made between the majority and dissent, to clarify the scope of the decision and potential impacts for future interpretation of RFRA's applicability. It also examines potential legislative responses, should Congress consider addressing the current applicability of RFRA. Finally, the report addresses the decision's effect on requirements that employers offer contraceptive coverage in group health plans under federal or state law.
Date: April 6, 2015
Creator: Brown, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Options After Citizens United v. FEC: Constitutional and Legal Issues

Description: This report provides a background on legislative options after Citizens United v. FEC. The report discusses increased disclaimer requirements, disclosure of donors to organizations, restrictions on foreign-owned corporations, and taxation of corporate campaign-related expenditures.
Date: March 8, 2010
Creator: Whitaker, L. P.; Lunder, Erika K.; Manuel, Kate M.; Maskell, Jack & Seitzinger, Michael V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Description: Many Members of Congress see continued tension between "free speech" decisions of the Supreme Court, which protect flag desecration as expressive conduct under the First Amendment, and the symbolic importance of the United States flag. This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct.
Date: January 7, 2009
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Description: This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct.
Date: January 20, 2011
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis

Description: This report begins with a brief introduction to check-off programs and then describes many of the First Amendment principles that have been discussed in checkoff cases. Next is an analysis of the first two challenges that reached the Supreme Court, as well as a brief discussion of subsequent lower court decisions. This report concludes with a discussion of Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association and its possible implications for check-off programs.
Date: June 21, 2005
Creator: Vina, Stephen R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Overview of Recent U.S. Supreme Court Jurisprudence in Patent Law

Description: This report provides a brief summary of the Supreme Court's patent law jurisprudence in the following nine cases that have been decided since 2005: Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Unitherm Food Systems v. Swift-Eckrich, Illinois Tool Works v. Independent Ink, eBay v. MercExchange, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings v. Metabolite Labs., MedImmune v. Genentech, KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., Microsoft v. AT&T, Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., and Bilski v. Kappos.
Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Schaffer v. Weast

Description: This report discusses the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which is the main federal program concerning the education of children with disabilities. It authorizes state and local aid for special education and related services for children with disabilities and contains detailed due process protections for children with disabilities and their parents. On December 3, 2004, President Bush signed “The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Improvement Act” (P.L. 108-446), a major reauthorization and revision of IDEA. One issue which was not addressed in the reauthorization was whether the parents or the school bears the burden of proof in special education due process hearings. On November 14, 2005, the Supreme Court resolved a split in the circuits and held that the burden of proof in an administrative hearing challenging a child’s individualized education program is on the party seeking the relief.
Date: December 21, 2005
Creator: Jones, Nancy L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Zivotofsky v. Kerry: The Jerusalem Passport Case and Its Potential Implications for Congress's Foreign Affairs Powers

Description: This report briefly describes legislative efforts to modify U.S. policy with respect to Jerusalem, in particular multiple enactments of the passport provision. The report then summarizes the Supreme Court decision, including concurrences and dissents. Finally, the report concludes by suggesting possible implications of the decision with respect to Congress's authority to influence foreign affairs.
Date: September 28, 2015
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Description: This report gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. A second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court -- Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman -- that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct.
Date: January 3, 2005
Creator: Luckey, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department