Anchoring Justice: The Constitutionality of the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act in United States V. Morrison's Shifting Seas
18 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2006
Professor Varona and Mr. Layton write about the impact United States v. Morrison will have on Congress's efforts to enact hate crimes laws. Specifically, they look at the 106th Congress's changes to the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (LLEEA), which seeks to enable federal assistance and prosecution of hate motivated crimes perpetrated on gays, women, and the disabled. Morrison, which invalidated the federal civil remedy enacted as part of the Violence Against Women Act, presents a hurdle to these efforts by restricting Congress's Commerce Clause jurisdiction as well as its power under the Fourteenth Amendment. The authors detail how Morrison, along with United States v. Lopez and Flores v. City of Boerne, is indicative of a legal shift in congressional authority jurisprudence. The authors conclude with an argument supporting the constitutionality of LLEEA even under the shifting seas of Morrison.
Keywords: Constitutional law, hate crimes, legislation, civil rights, gay and lesbian civil rights
JEL Classification: K10, K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation