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United States v. Morrison

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 529 U.S. 598, 120 S. Ct. 1740, 146 L. Ed. 2d 658, 2000 U.S.

Brief Fact Summary. The Respondent, Morrison (Respondent), was sued under part of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (Act), which penalized crimes of violence motivated by gender. Now Respondent argues this section of the Act is beyond the scope of Congress’ power to regulate commerce.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Intrastate actions must be economic in nature to be viewed in aggregate by courts reviewing a Commerce Clause case.


Facts. Christy Brzonkala enrolled at Virginia Tech in the fall of 1994. Shortly after enrolling, she was allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted by two varsity football players, including Respondent. After the incident Brzonkala suffered severe emotional distress. She twice participated in academic hearings against Respondent and later dropped out of the school. She finally brought suit against the two male students, including the Respondent and the university in Federal District Court.

Issue. Is Section: 13981 of the Act a constitutional exercise of Congress’ commerce power?

Content Type: Brief


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