United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598, 17 (2000)

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614

UNITED STATES v. MORRISON

Opinion of the Court

In contrast with the lack of congressional findings that we faced in Lopez, 13981 is supported by numerous findings regarding the serious impact that gender-motivated violence has on victims and their families. See, e. g., H. R. Conf. Rep. No. 103-711, p. 385 (1994); S. Rep. No. 103-138, p. 40 (1993); S. Rep. No. 101-545, p. 33 (1990). But the existence of congressional findings is not sufficient, by itself, to sustain the constitutionality of Commerce Clause legislation. As we stated in Lopez, " '[S]imply because Congress may conclude that a particular activity substantially affects interstate commerce does not necessarily make it so.' " 514 U. S., at 557, n. 2 (quoting Hodel, 452 U. S., at 311 (Rehnquist, J., concurring in judgment)). Rather, " '[w]hether particular operations affect interstate commerce sufficiently to come under the constitutional power of Congress to regulate them is ultimately a judicial rather than a legislative question, and can be settled finally only by this Court.' " 514 U. S., at 557, n. 2 (quoting Heart of Atlanta Motel, 379 U. S., at 273 (Black, J., concurring)).

punish "interstate crimes of abuse including crimes committed against spouses or intimate partners during interstate travel and crimes committed by spouses or intimate partners who cross State lines to continue the abuse." S. Rep. No. 103-138, p. 43 (1993). That criminal provision has been codified at 18 U. S. C. 2261(a)(1), which states: "A person who travels across a State line or enters or leaves Indian country with the intent to injure, harass, or intimidate that person's spouse or intimate partner, and who, in the course of or as a result of such travel, intentionally commits a crime of violence and thereby causes bodily injury to such spouse or intimate partner, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b)."

The Courts of Appeals have uniformly upheld this criminal sanction as an appropriate exercise of Congress' Commerce Clause authority, reasoning that "[t]he provision properly falls within the first of Lopez's categories as it regulates the use of channels of interstate commerce—i. e., the use of the interstate transportation routes through which persons and goods move." United States v. Lankford, 196 F. 3d 563, 571-572 (CA5 1999) (collecting cases) (internal quotation marks omitted).

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