US vs Morrison.docx - Number 81 United States v Morrison Facts Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 which created as a remedy a

US vs Morrison.docx - Number 81 United States v Morrison...

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Number 81 United States v. Morrison Facts: Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 which created as a remedy a private civil course of action for victims to sue their attackers. Although no criminal charges were filed against the Morrison who allegedly raped the victim, the victim sued Morrison. A federal district court, though, concluded the act was an unconstitutional intrusion on state concerns. The United States government sued in the Supreme Court against this ruling. Question of law: Does the Violence Against Women Act exceed congressional power regarding the Commerce Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment? Yes. Opinion (Rehnquist): Every source of congressional authority must be rooted somewhere within the Constitution. As showin in previous cases, Congress has the ability and the right to regulate the use of the channels of interstate commerce, the objects or principalities of interstate commerce, regulate activities that have a substantial relation to interstate commerce or substantially affect interstate commerce. From looking at the Lopez case, the Court determined that the "costs of crime" argument and "national productivity" argument, it is clear that gender- related crime does not fall within economic activity. Despite the existence of congressional findings in this case that were non-existant in Lopez , these are not sufficient by itself to sustain the legislation from a Commerce Clause basis. Congress' findings are also weakened due to their method of reasoning which was previously struck down by the courts. From Congress' findings, one could reasonably argue that if this principle were upheld, that Congress could render the line between national and local authority moot. The Court thus rejects Congress' non-economic, violent crime argument based solely on the effect on interstate commerce. The regulation and punishment, in this instance, has always been left to the States regarding matters of intrastate commerce.
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