Sunday, December 8, 2013

United States v. Lopez case brief

United States v. Lopez case brief summary
514 U.S. 549 (1995)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant, the United States, sought review of a reversal by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit of respondent student's conviction under the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 (GFSZA), 18 U.S.C.S. § 922(q)(1)(A).

CASE FACTS
Respondent was convicted of violating the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 (GFSZA), 18 U.S.C.S. § 922(q)(1)(A) after carrying a concealed handgun and bullets to school. Respondent's conviction was reversed on appeal.

DISCUSSION
  • In upholding the reversal, the Court held the GFSZA was invalid because it was beyond the power of Congress under the Commerce Clause, U.S. Constitutional art. I, § 8, cl. 3. 
  • The GFSZA had nothing to do with commerce or any economic activity, and, therefore, could not be sustained as a regulation of activity arising out of or connected with a commercial transaction, which when viewed in the aggregate, substantially affected interstate commerce.
CONCLUSION
Reversal of respondent's conviction was upheld because GFSZA was invalid; it was not a regulation of activity arising out of or connected with a commercial transaction which substantially affected interstate commerce, and was thus beyond the power of Congress under the Commerce Clause.


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