Skip to main content

New CRS Reports

We at Nota Bene have written before about Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports and where to find them online. The CRS prepares these reports to provide legislators with background information on issues that are being considered in the U.S. Congress. When researching an unfamiliar topic, a CRS report can be a very useful resource because it provides a brief but informative introduction. Here are links to a few recent CRS reports on matters of current interest.

·         Iran Sanctions – In the recent negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, one of the key issues has been the question of how and when to ease sanctions on the country. This study looks at the history and effectiveness of various sanctions against Iran by the U.S. and other countries, and considers the possible effects of easing sanctions.

·         Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate – This is a useful introduction to the current debate over regulation of the internet, including a summary of legislative actions taken so far, and a discussion of the role of the FCC.  

·         An Introduction to Health Insurance: What Should a Consumer Know? – This report provides a brief overview of the private market for health insurance and is written in a jargon-free style that will be accessible to the ordinary consumer.

·         Mexico’s Oil and Gas Sector: Background, Reform Efforts, and Implications for the United States – Recent energy reforms in Mexico could have profound implications for trade and energy cooperation with the U.S. This report examines the effects of those reforms and suggests possible oversight roles for Congress.

·         Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress – This report looks at the effects of declining levels of Arctic sea ice and the implications for U.S. interests in the region.


Popular posts from this blog

Spying and International Law

With increasing numbers of foreign governments officially objecting to now-widely publicized U.S. espionage activities, the topic of the legality of these activities has been raised both by the target governments and by the many news organizations reporting on the issue.For those interested in better understanding this controversy by learning more about international laws concerning espionage, here are some legal resources that may be useful.

The following is a list of multinational treaties relevant to spies and espionage:
Brussels Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War (1874).Although never ratified by the nations that drafted it, this declaration is one of the earliest modern examples of an international attempt to codify the laws of war.Articles 19-22 address the identification and treatment of spies during wartime.These articles served mainly to distinguish active spies from soldiers and former spies, and provided no protections for spies captured in the act.The Hagu…

Citing to Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated: Finding Accurate Publication Dates (without touching a book)

When citing to a current statute, both the Bluebook (rule 12.3.2) and Greenbook (rule 10.1.1) require a  practitioner to provide the publication date of the bound volume in which the cited code section appears. For example, let's cite to the codified statute section that prohibits Texans from hunting or selling bats, living or dead. Note, however, you may remove or hunt a bat that is inside or on a building occupied by people. The statute is silent as to Batman, who for his own safety, best stay in Gotham City.
This section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife code is 63.101. "Protection of Bats." After checking the pocket part and finding no updates in the supplement, my citation will be:
Tex. Parks & Wild. Code Ann. § 63.101 (West ___ ). When I look at the statute in my bound volume of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, I can clearly see that the volume's publication date is 2002. But, when I find the same citation on Westlaw or LexisNexis, all I can see is that the …