New Government Reports: Supreme Court Rulings on Enemy Combatants, Senate Filibusters, Threat of Bioterrorism, National Broadband Plan, All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV)

April 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

New government reports this week:

1) Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings
by Jennifer K. Elsea and Michael John Garcia (Paperback, 18 pages, $15)

As part of the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the U.S. has captured and detained numerous persons believed to have been part of or associated with enemy forces. Over the years, federal courts have considered a multitude of petitions by or on behalf of suspected belligerents challenging aspects of U.S. detention policy.

Although the Supreme Court has issued definitive rulings concerning several legal issues raised in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, many others remain unresolved, with some the subject of ongoing litigation. This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance to U.S. detention policy. The report also addresses a few notable decisions by federal district courts that are the subject of ongoing habeas litigation.

Finally, it describes a few federal court rulings in criminal cases involving persons who were either involved in the 9/11 attacks or were captured abroad by U.S. forces during operations against Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated entities.not convicted.

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2) Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate
by Richard Beth, Valerie Heitshusen and Betsy Palmer (Paperback, 22 pages, $15)

Contents: (I) The Right to Debate: The Right to Recognition; The Right to Speak at Length and the Two-Speech Rule; The Motion to Table; (II) The Conduct of Filibusters: Germaneness of Debate; Yielding the Floor and Yielding for Questions; Quorums and Quorum Calls; Roll Call Voting; Scheduling Filibusters; (III) Invoking Cloture: Matters on Which Cloture May be Invoked: Timing of Cloture Motions; (IV) Effects of Invoking Cloture; (V) The Impact of Filibusters. Tables.

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3) Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues for Congress
by Frank Gottron and Dana A. Shea (Paperback, 13 pages, $10)

The federal government’s efforts to address the perceived threat of bioterrorism span many different agencies and are organized and directed through several strategy and planning documents. These agencies have implemented numerous disparate actions and programs in their statutory areas to address the threat.

Despite these efforts, many experts, including congressional commissions, non-governmental organizations, and industry representatives, have highlighted weaknesses or flaws in the federal government’s biodefense activities.

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4) Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan
by FCC Staff (Paperback, 360 pages, $45)

Broadband is the great infrastructure challenge of the early 21st century. The number of Americans who have broadband at home has grown from 8 million in 2000 to nearly 200 million last year.

But approximately 100 million Americans do not have broadband at home. Broadband-enabled health IT can improve care and lower costs by hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decades, yet the U.S. is behind many advanced countries in the adoption of such technology.

In early 2009, Congress directed the Fed. Communications Comm. (FCC) to develop a National Broadband Plan to ensure that every American has “access to broadband capability.”

To fulfill Congress’s mandate, this plan seeks to ensure that the entire broadband ecosystem — networks, devices, content and applications— is healthy. It makes recommendations to the FCC, the Executive Branch, Congress and state and local governments. Figures.

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5) All-Terrain Vehicles: How They Are Used, Crashes, and Sales of Adult-Sized Vehicles for Children’s Use
by Susan Fleming (Paperback, 68 pages, $20)

All-terrain vehicles (ATV), which are off-road motorized vehicles, have become increasingly popular. However, ATV fatalities and injuries have increased over the last decade and are a matter of concern to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission).

Many ATV crashes involving children occur when they are riding adult-sized ATVs. Manufacturers and distributors have agreed to use their best efforts to prevent their dealers from selling adult-sized ATVs for use by children under the age of 16.

This report examines (1) how ATVs are used and the advantages of their use and (2) the nature, extent, and costs of ATV crashes. The report reviewed ATV use and crash data and discussed these issues with Commission staff, industry officials, user groups, and safety stakeholders. Includes recommendations. Figures.

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