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5/15/2000

I just heard the the

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:10 am

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I just heard the the Supreme Court has struck down the Violence Against Women Act, or at least the portion of the act that lets women victims of violence sue their attackers in federal court. I imagine that there’s going to be an uproar over this, and most of the uproar will miss the point of the decision, I predict. The US Constitution clearly defines what the federal government has the power to legistate, and really, it isn’t much. Much less, in fact, than what Congress actually passes laws over. One thing the government can regulate is interstate commerce, and the federal attorneys argued that beaten, demoralized women must have a negative effect on commerce. If people are happy, there’s a positive impact on “employment, production, transit or consumption”, no? Not the sturdiest of connections, and so the law’s overturned. Even with the best of intentions, the federal government can’t overstep its bounds. The next step, of course, is to get the states to pass their own tough laws. Or overturn the tenth amendment. Whichever you prefer. Here’s CNN’s story, and here’s the full text of the opinion.

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