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Authors

Michael McGrail

Document Type

Notes

Abstract

In 1995, in United States v. Lopez, the Supreme Court for the first time in five decades struck down a statute enacted by Congress under the Commerce Clause. In holding the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 unconstitutional, the Court established, that Congress' authority under the Commerce Clause is subject to outer limits, and that the Supreme Court will strike down federal statutes that obliterate the distinction between what is national and what is local. This Note reviews the Court's holding in Lopez, and argues in favor of the adoption of a two-step approach as the proper judicial inquiry regarding jurisdictional challenges to the Hobbs Act. The adoption of this two-step approach will ensure a return to the limited application of the Hobbs Act intended by Congress and will preserve our government's first principle—that the federal government is one of limited, enumerated powers.

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