The Background of United States v. Morrison:
United States v. Morrison is a landmark United States Supreme Court decision which stated that parts of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 violated provisions of the United States Constitution because they exceeded congressional power under the Commerce Clause and more specifically, under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The Violence against Women Act of 1994 contained a provision for a federal civil remedy to victims of gender-based violence, even in those instances when no criminal charges were filed by the victim. The case of United States v. Morrison revolves around Virginia Tech freshman college student, Christy Brzonkala, who was allegedly assaulted and raped by Antonio Morrison and James Crawford—members of the University’s football team.
School-conducted hearings proved futile, for the Court proceedings failed to punish both Morrison and Crawford. Furthermore, a subsequent state trial could not find sufficient evidence to either man; however, Brzonkala then filed a separate suit under the provisions of the Violence against Women Act.
The United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia stated that the United States Congress lacked authority to enact the provision within the Violence against Women Act. Brzonkala then appealed the decision where a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the decision 201. The Supreme Court of the United States then affirmed, in a 5-4 decision, that the United States Congress lacked the authority under the Commerce Clause or the Fourteenth Amendment to enact the law.
The Case Profile of United States v. Morrison:
The following is a case profile of the legal trial eponymously titled ‘United States v. Morrison’:
Date of the Trial: United States v. Morrison was argued on January 11, 2000
Legal Classification: Administrative Law; this legal field associated with events and circumstances in which the Federal Government of the United States engages its citizens, including the administration of government programs, the creation of agencies, and the establishment of a legal, regulatory federal standard
United States Reports Case Number: 529 U.S. 598
Date of the Delivery of the Verdict: United States v. Morrison was decided on May 15, 2000
Legal Venue of United States v. Morrison: The United States Supreme Court
Judicial Officer Responsible for Ruling: Chief Justice William Rehnquist
Verdict Delivered: The United States Supreme Court stated that the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and the provision within the act, is unconstitutional for it exceeds congressional power under the Commerce clause and also under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.