Document Type


Publication Title

Touro Law Review

Publication Date

Winter 2000


There are four areas in which the Supreme Court has in effect raised the power of federalism. The first of the four is the United States v. Lopez line of cases. Lopez involved a law passed by Congress, the Gun Free School Zone Act, which said that if you possess a gun within a thousand feet of a school zone you have violated a federal law, and it is a five-year felony. However, in 1995, the Supreme Court held that the, Act exceeded Congress' power under the Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court had not told Congress that they had gone too far in exercising their power under the Commerce Clause since 1936. If you look before Lopez, maybe go back through the late New Deal period, it was sixty years before the Supreme Court told Congress that they did not have these powers.



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