The Law School Authority

US v. Morrison Case Brief

Summary of US v. Morrison (2000)

Female student raped by two football players.  Had a school hearing and one player was suspended for two semesters, which was later repealed.  Victim/US sue the university and Δs under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which gives a civil remedy for a crime of violence motivated by gender hatred.

(a)     Held: Statute is unconstitutional b/c this is an improper application of 14th A—i.e. 14th A does not regulate “private” action

(b)    No state action –victim could have only sued the state officials who failed to punish the guy—not the guy

(c)     Counter: In enacting the VAWA, Cong. was “enforcing” the EPC b/c it was compensating defaults in state protection of women against violence

i)                     But the inability of states to protect women against private violence does not create additional congressional authority

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