Recent CRS Reports

The Federal Prison Population Buildup: Overview, Policy Changes, Issues, and Options – CRS Report R42937

Since the early 1980s, there has been a historically unprecedented increase in the federal prison population. Some of the growth is attributable to changes in federal criminal justice policy during the previous three decades. An issue before Congress is whether policymakers consider the rate of growth in the federal prison population sustainable, and if not, … Read more

The Original Velvet Revolution

On November 19, 1989, the people of Prague, in the former state of Czechoslovakia, gathered to commemorate a massacre of Czech students by Nazi Germany fifty years earlier. By the end of the day, the gathering turned into a demonstration against a ruling Communist government that had begun massacring Czechs and Slovaks from virtually the … Read more

“Requiring Individuals to Obtain Health Insurance: A Constitutional Analysis”

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), P.L. 111-148, as amended, Congress enacted a “minimum coverage provision,” which compels certain individuals to have a minimum level of health insurance (i.e., an “individual mandate”). Individuals who fail to do so may be subject to a monetary penalty, administered through the tax code. … Read more

“The seven stages of the office seeker”

“The seven stages of the office seeker,” by Edward Williams Clay (artist) and John Childs (lithographer). Image and text from the Library of Congress: A satire on patronage and corruption in New York State politics, based on the medieval theme, perpetuated in American folk art, of the “life and ages of man.” Here the seven … Read more

Necessary and Proper Clause – Article I Section 8, Clause 18 of the Constitution

The United States Constitution The Necessary and Proper Clause is one of Congress’ enumerated powers found in the Constitution of the United States, Article. I. Section. 8., clause 18: (Clause 18 – Necessary and Proper clause) [The Congress shall have Power] To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution … Read more