Logourl black
From our private database of 13,000+ case briefs...

United States v. Morrison

United States Supreme Court
529 U.S. 598 (2000)

United States v. Morrison

Facts

In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which contained a provision for a federal civil remedy for victims of gender-based violence, even when victims did not file criminal charges. That same year, Christy Brzonkala, a female student at Virginia Tech University, was allegedly assaulted and raped by Antonio Morrison (defendant) and James Crawford. Morrison was temporarily suspended from school, but a state grand jury did not find enough evidence to indict him. Brzonkala and the United States government (plaintiffs) brought suit against Morrison, Crawford, and Virginia Tech under the VAWA in federal district court. Morrison challenged the VAWA as an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s Commerce Clause powers. The district court held that Congress lacked authority to enact the VAWA, but a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. The Fourth Circuit then reheard the case and upheld the district court’s decision that Congress lacked authority. Brzonkala and the United States appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

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 (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 (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.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 128,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,000 briefs, keyed to 176 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.