United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598, 5 (2000)

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602

UNITED STATES v. MORRISON

Opinion of the Court

victims of gender-motivated violence. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, sitting en banc, struck down 13981 because it concluded that Congress lacked constitutional authority to enact the section's civil remedy. Believing that these cases are controlled by our decisions in United States v. Lopez, 514 U. S. 549 (1995), United States v. Harris, 106 U. S. 629 (1883), and the Civil Rights Cases, 109 U. S. 3 (1883), we affirm.

I

Petitioner Christy Brzonkala enrolled at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) in the fall of 1994. In September of that year, Brzonkala met respondents Antonio Morrison and James Crawford, who were both students at Virginia Tech and members of its varsity football team. Brzonkala alleges that, within 30 minutes of meeting Morrison and Crawford, they assaulted and repeatedly raped her. After the attack, Morrison allegedly told Brzonkala, "You better not have any . . . diseases." Complaint ¶ 22. In the months following the rape, Morrison also allegedly announced in the dormitory's dining room that he "like[d] to get girls drunk and . . . ." Id., ¶ 31. The omitted portions, quoted verbatim in the briefs on file with this Court, consist of boasting, debased remarks about what Morrison would do to women, vulgar remarks that cannot fail to shock and offend.

Brzonkala alleges that this attack caused her to become severely emotionally disturbed and depressed. She sought assistance from a university psychiatrist, who prescribed

Getchell, Jr., J. William Boland, and Robert L. Hodges; for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers by Theodore M. Cooperstein and Lisa Kemler; for the Pacific Legal Foundation by Anne M. Hayes and M. Reed Hopper; for the Women's Freedom Network by Robert L. King; and for Rita Gluzman by Alan E. Untereiner.

Michael P. Farris filed a brief for the Center for the Original Intent of the Constitution as amicus curiae.

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