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Category Archives: Congress

Police Reform and the 116th Congress: Selected Legal Issues

CRS report via LC – Police Reform and the 116th Congress: Selected Legal Issues, September 16, 2020: “…Congress has extensive power to regulate federal law enforcement. However, federalism principles embodied in the Constitution place limits on Congress’s power to regulate state and local police—an issue that the Constitution generally entrusts to the states. Congress, however, possesses some authority to regulate state and local law enforcement. Two primary tools Congress may use to act in this area are statutes designed to enforce the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment and legislation requiring states to take specified action in exchange for federal funds disbursed under the Spending Clause.Legislating within the scope of its enumerated powers, Congress has enacted multiple statutes that regulate federal, state, and local law enforcement. Key existing legal authorities related to federal regulation of law enforcement include Department of Justice (DOJ) civil enforcement against patterns and practices of unconstitutional policing, laws imposing civil and criminal liability for officer misconduct, and grant conditions designed to spur state and local compliance with federal policies.Federal courts have supplemented these statutory authorities with certain judicially created doctrines defining the contours of liability for police misconduct…”

COVID-19: Financial Relief and Assistance Resources for Renters

CRS Insight via LC – COVID-19: Financial Relief and Assistance Resources for Renters, September 10, 2020: “This Insight highlights resources from selected federal agencies and other organizations that may aid renters at risk of eviction due to circumstances related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)pandemic. These resourcesprovide information on COVID-19 related renter protections and resources… Continue Reading

What’s at Stake in This Election? The American Democratic Experiment

The New York Times / Opinion – Trump’s former director of national intelligence on how to firmly and unambiguously reassure all Americans that their votes will be counted. By Dan Coats. Mr. Coats served as the director of national intelligence from 2017 to 2019. “…Our democracy’s enemies, foreign and domestic, want us to concede in… Continue Reading

New Investigative Report Detailing Harmful Impacts of Nationwide Mail Delays

“U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released a report detailing the results of his investigation into how operational changes at the United States Postal Service (USPS) ordered by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy resulted in compromised service and serious harm for veterans, small businesses, rural communities, seniors, and millions… Continue Reading

US unveils broad vaccine plan but no quick rollout

AP – “The government outlined a sweeping plan Wednesday to make vaccines for COVID-19 available for free to all Americans when proven safe and effective, though a top public health official made clear that widespread vaccination of millions of Americans couldn’t come until well into next year. In a report to Congress and an accompanying… Continue Reading

Jared Diamond: Why Nations Fail Or Succeed When Facing A Crisis

The following interview, between Noema Magazine Editor-in-Chief Nathan Gardels and author (previously of “Guns, Germs, and Steel”) Jared Diamond, has been edited for clarity and length. “Nathan Gardels: In assessing how nations manage crises and successfully negotiate turning points — or don’t — you pass their experience through several filters. Some key filters you use… Continue Reading

Open Courts Act of 2020

Statement for Markup of H.R. 8235, the “Open Courts Act of 2020” – “Anyone who goes to the Supreme Court’s website can read any of the documents filed before the Court, free of charge. The same thing is true for the courts in my and Mr. Collins’s home state of Georgia. And that’s the way… Continue Reading

U.S. Image Plummets Internationally as Most Say Country Has Handled Coronavirus Badly

Pew Report – Ratings for Trump remain poor – “Since Donald Trump took office as president, the image of the United States has suffered across many regions of the globe. As a new 13-nation Pew Research Center survey illustrates, America’s reputation has declined further over the past year among many key allies and partners. In several… Continue Reading

Americans’ Views of Government: Low Trust, but Some Positive Performance Ratings

“For years, public trust in the federal government has hovered at near-record lows. That remains the case today, as the United States struggles with a pandemic and economic recession. Just 20% of U.S. adults say they trust the government in Washington to “do the right thing” just about always or most of the time. Yet… Continue Reading

Biden Creates Legal War Room, Preparing for a Big Fight Over Voting

The New York Times – With two former solicitors general and hundreds of lawyers, the Biden campaign is bracing for an extended legal battle and hoping to maintain trust in the electoral process. “…Inside the campaign, they are creating a “special litigation” unit, which will be led by Donald B. Verrilli Jr. and Walter Dellinger,… Continue Reading

Library of Congress 2020 Constitution and Citizenship Day Event

“The Law Library of Congress and the Library of Congress Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement invite you to our 2020 Constitution and Citizenship Day event, “The Bulwark of Freedom”: African-American Members of Congress and the Constitution During Reconstruction, on September 17th at 3 p.m. EDT. This year’s lecture will be an online event and… Continue Reading