Logourl black

United States v. Lopez

United States Supreme Court
514 U.S. 549 (1995)


Facts

In 1990, Congress passed the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA), making it a federal offense "for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm in a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone." Lopez (defendant), a student who brought a gun to his high school, was confronted by school authorities, arrested, and charged with violating the GFSZA. Lopez was tried and convicted. In his appeal, he brought suit against the United States government (plaintiff), challenging the constitutionality of the GFSZA as a regulation based on Congress’s Commerce Clause power. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit agreed with Lopez and reversed his conviction. The United States petitioned for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, which granted the petition.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Concurrence (Kennedy, J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Concurrence (Thomas, J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Dissent (Stevens, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Dissent (Souter, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Dissent (Breyer, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Here's why 89,000 law students rely on our case briefs:

  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners not other law students.
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet.
  • 12,195 briefs - keyed to 164 casebooks.
  • Uniform format for every case brief.
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language.
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions.
  • Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.
  • Top-notch customer support.
Start Your Free Trial Now