brief

Topics: United States Constitution, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Congress Pages: 2 (441 words) Published: December 5, 2013
United States v. Lopez

Citations: United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549, 115 S. Ct. 1624, 131 L. Ed. 2d 626 (1995).

Facts: Alfonso Lopez, Jr., a 12th grade high school student, was convicted for purposely carrying a handgun along with bullets onto a school zone for resale under the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.

Issue: Did Congress really have the power to pass this act?

Decision: The Court of Appeals took action and reversed the conviction on the basis that the commerce power of the Congress did not reach out as far as to make that conviction. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals which stated that Congress’s Commerce power was limited and could not regulate the carrying of firearms or to categorize it as commerce, and that there was no evidence that concluded that carrying firearms had a major economic impact.

Reason: The interstate Commerce is indeed an enumerated power. This means that although, Lopez was breaking the law for carrying a gun in a school zone, it had no substantial effect on interstate commerce.  Congress exceeded the power granted to it by the Commerce Clause. The Court held that, because "production," "manufacturing," and "mining" were within the province of state governments, they were beyond the power of Congress under the Commerce Clause. The result permitted greater regulation by the Congress because it is within the Congress’ power to regulate and protect commerce from burdens and obstructions. The court identified the channels of interstate commerce, the people or things in interstate commerce, and activities that relate to interstate commerce as the three broad categories of activity. The court dismissed the first two options and decided that the case itself was a matter of activities that substantially relate to interstate commerce. The issue was determining whether if carrying a firearm was, in any aspect, a commercial activity. The court decided that carrying a firearm did not...

Citations: United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549, 115 S. Ct. 1624, 131 L. Ed. 2d 626 (1995).
Facts: Alfonso Lopez, Jr., a 12th grade high school student, was convicted for purposely carrying a handgun along with bullets onto a school zone for resale under the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.
Issue: Did Congress really have the power to pass this act?
Decision: The Court of Appeals took action and reversed the conviction on the basis that the commerce power of the Congress did not reach out as far as to make that conviction. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals which stated that Congress’s Commerce power was limited and could not regulate the carrying of firearms or to categorize it as commerce, and that there was no evidence that concluded that carrying firearms had a major economic impact.
Reason: The interstate Commerce is indeed an enumerated power. This means that although, Lopez was breaking the law for carrying a gun in a school zone, it had no substantial effect on interstate commerce.  Congress exceeded the power granted to it by the Commerce Clause. The Court held that, because "production," "manufacturing," and "mining" were within the province of state governments, they were beyond the power of Congress under the Commerce Clause. The result permitted greater regulation by the Congress because it is within the Congress’ power to regulate and protect commerce from burdens and obstructions. The court identified the channels of interstate commerce, the people or things in interstate commerce, and activities that relate to interstate commerce as the three broad categories of activity. The court dismissed the first two options and decided that the case itself was a matter of activities that substantially relate to interstate commerce. The issue was determining whether if carrying a firearm was, in any aspect, a commercial activity. The court decided that carrying a firearm did not impose a commercial activity or economic venture of any sort. It stated that Congress needed a solid argument that is rational and that the court must not determine whether a controlled activity has a significant impact on interstate commerce, but rather decide if Congress has a rational conclusion for their argument. The Government argued that crime had a negative impact on education and therefore crime in schools affected commerce. The Court stated that if Congress could regulate something that has little or no impact on commerce, that it could technically regulate and take measures on pretty much anything. Also, the Constitution of the United States grants Congress with enumerated powers, which outline the specific powers of Congress and therefore it can’t be done.
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