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Same-Sex Discrimination Essay

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The main issues of this legislation revolve around commerce and federal preemption. From the cases discussed in lecture and discussion, there are two cases that have a strong, direct correlation to the cases and many others that have a secondary or weaker correlation to the legislation. Windsor (2012) has the greatest correlation because of the topic at hand. Windsor challenged the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) citing that the act discriminated against the ability of Edith Windsor to collect her spouse's estate by imposing estate taxes that other non-same-sex couples were not subject to. There were three questions at hand; one regarding the statement by the Executive Branch that the law is unconstitutional, one…show more content…
Lopez (1995) handled the issue of carrying a gun in a school zone and whether Congress had the ability to regulate that. The court, in a 5-4 decision, said no, that the act of carrying a gun does not substantially effect commerce. Congress overstepped its bounds. Justice Breyer dissented claiming a three prong approach of which the court should consider "significant effect", the act as a whole, and whether Congress had a "rational basis." Morrison (2000) struck down, in a 5-4 decision, the constitutionality of the Violence Against Women Act claiming that the there is no activity regulated that can be argued under the Commerce Clause. Justice Breyer's dissent points out the "mountain of data showing the effects of violence against women on interstate commerce" and that the court should defer to Congress. Gonzalez (2005) supports Congress's Commerce Clause powers by finding the Controlled Substances Act constitutional and Justice Steven's opinion stated that Congress had the power to regulate local activities that are part of a "class of activities." Swift (1904) questioned the ability of Congress to regulate a meat trust but the 9-0 decision solidified Congress's ability to regulate commerce due to the indirect and direct affects on interstate commerce. Here we see the beginning of the "stream of commerce." Schechter (1934) is opposite of this decision. The poultry in this case was found to not have entered the stream of
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