Violence Against Women Act Exceeds Congressional Authority

2000

Legislation about domestic violence and family law had traditionally been left to the states. In United States v. Morrison, the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a provision in the federal Violence against Women Act because it exceeds Congress’s authority under the commerce clause and impinges on state control. A provision that permits victims of gender-based violence to bring federal lawsuits against their attackers is found to invade states’ police power.