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Analysis this case illustrates scotuss permissive

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Analysis:This case illustrates SCOTUS’s permissive view that the federal gov’t can allocateresources on the condition that the recipient complies with specified norms.The court herefinds no violation of the 3-part test for spending clause claim (it’s in the general welfare to havea 21-year old drinking age; the 5% condition is clear and unambiguous; and a higher drinkingage will result in safer roads and highways), and no violation of 2-part test 10th amendmentclaim (raising the drinking age to 21 is not unconstitutional; and pressure has not becomecompulsion when dealing with only 5% of annual highway funds).Holding:South Dakota loses, no constitutional violation here as the federal government throughthis law acted appropriately.
United States v. LopezFacts:Federal law restricted gun possession in public school zones under the Gun Free SchoolZones Act. Mr. Lopez was charged with a crime for violating this federal law. He appeals hisconviction on the grounds that he never should have been charged under this law because thelaw itself is an unconstitutional violation of congressional commerce clause powers.Procedure:Criminal, SCOTUS, federal court.Issue:Did the enactment of this federal criminal law exceed the congress’s authority to legislatepursuant to the commerce clause? Did the federal government go too far here?Rule:When congress decides to legislate based upon the power granted to it under thecommerce clause in the constitution, it may do so but only for 3 possible purposes: (1) lawsabout the use of channels of interstate commerce; (2) laws intended to regulate and protect theinstrumentalities of interstate commerce or persons or things in interstate commerce; or (3) lawsabout those activities that substantially affect interstate commerce.Analysis:Here, the SCOTUS disposes of 1 and 2 easily, stating that these are clearly not inplay. Regarding possibility number 3, the court listens to the federal government’s reasons as towhy this law (about the possession of guns in a public school zone) is about an activity thatsubstantially affects interstate commerce. The federal gov’t claims violent crime based on gunsnear schools will affect the national economy; that allowing guns near schools will result inhigher insurance costs and reduce travel; and that without the law there will be a threat to theeducational process and thus less “national productivity” as a result. The court does not agreewith these arguments.Holding:This law overturned as violation of constitutional commerce clause powers to regulateinterstate commerce.
Gonzales v. RaichFacts:The federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) makes illegal the cultivation and use ofmarijuana.But California law states that cultivation and use of marijuana for medicinalpurposes is permitted with a valid prescription from a physician. The FBI, under the power of theCSA, raid a home in California and destroy all of the growing marijuana plants. Thehomeowners then sue the federal government (which in this case is accomplished by suing theAttorney General at the time).

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Term
Spring
Professor
Burke,T
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