United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598, 15 (2000)

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612

UNITED STATES v. MORRISON

Opinion of the Court

an explicit connection with or effect on interstate commerce." Id., at 562. Such a jurisdictional element may establish that the enactment is in pursuance of Congress' regulation of interstate commerce.

Third, we noted that neither 922(q) " 'nor its legislative history contain[s] express congressional findings regarding the effects upon interstate commerce of gun possession in a school zone.' " Ibid. (quoting Brief for United States, O. T. 1994, No. 93-1260, pp. 5-6). While "Congress normally is not required to make formal findings as to the substantial burdens that an activity has on interstate commerce," 514 U. S., at 562 (citing McClung, supra, at 304; Perez, 402 U. S., at 156), the existence of such findings may "enable us to evaluate the legislative judgment that the activity in question substantially affect[s] interstate commerce, even though no such substantial effect [is] visible to the naked eye." 514 U. S., at 563.

Finally, our decision in Lopez rested in part on the fact that the link between gun possession and a substantial effect on interstate commerce was attenuated. Id., at 563-567. The United States argued that the possession of guns may lead to violent crime, and that violent crime "can be expected to affect the functioning of the national economy in two ways. First, the costs of violent crime are substantial, and, through the mechanism of insurance, those costs are spread throughout the population. Second, violent crime reduces the willingness of individuals to travel to areas within the country that are perceived to be unsafe." Id., at 563-564 (citation omitted). The Government also argued that the presence of guns at schools poses a threat to the educational process, which in turn threatens to produce a less efficient and productive work force, which will negatively affect national productivity and thus interstate commerce. Ibid.

We rejected these "costs of crime" and "national productivity" arguments because they would permit Congress

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