Executive privilege has been in the news lately as President Obama has asserted it for the first time in his presidency. The Wall Street Journal recently published a list of executive privilege assertions over the past 50 years. As a law librarian I was particularly interested in this because the list was based on research found in a Congressional Research Service Report (Presidential Claims of Executive Privilege: History, Law, Practice, and Recent Development). CRS Reports can be great research tools if you need to get some good background on a particular legal issue. The Congressional Research Service provides non-partisan policy and legal analysis for Congress on a wide variety of issues. Although tax dollars support their creation, CRS Reports are not found in one place on government websites like FDsys. The best place to find free access to them is OpenCRS, a website that relies on citizens to upload reports that they have access to. BYU Law users also have access to very recent CRS Reports through ProQuest Congressional. This library guide has additional suggestions for accessing these reports.
CRS Reports are generally well-written and cover a variety of topics. Some recent reports include China’s Currency: An Analysis of the Economic Issues, Long-Term Unemployment and Recessions, The European Parliament, and Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions.