Abortion and Enumerated Powers
conlawprof at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jan 22 11:14:01 PST 2001
The abortion industry is a large commercial
enterprise, an industry that generates hundreds of
millions of dollars of economic exchange every year.
Many women travel across state lines to purchase
abortion services, abortion clinics advertise seeking
out-of-state business, and many abortionists travel
across state lines to work in abortion clinics. Lopez
and Morrison hold that "a criminal statute that by its
terms has nothing to do with 'commerce' or any sort of
economic enterprise, however broadly one might define
those terms" is not authorized by the Commerce power.
This does not describe the abortion industry in
Laws governing abortion services *are* regulations of
an *economic activity" that substantially affects
interstate commerce. I think this is an easy case
under Lopez and Morrison.
--- Glenn Reynolds <Reynolds at LIBRA.LAW.UTK.EDU> wrote:
> Having been drawn out of lurker status, I'd like to
> ask if others on
> the list agree with me that Congressional
> legislation regulating
> abortion probably falls outside Congress' enumerated
> I think that in light of Lopez and Morrison, it is
> difficult to see
> regulation of abortion as a legitimate exercise of
> the commerce
> power. I also rather doubt that, these days, it can
> be seen as a
> legitimate exercise of Congress' Fourteenth
> Amendment Section 5
> I said this in a letter to the Times a couple of
> years ago, and got a
> call from Rep. Canady's legislative assistant, who
> informed me that
> the then-proposed Partial Birth Abortion bill met
> the Lopez test
> because it only regulated abortions "in interstate
> When I suggested that there were no such abortions,
> she said that
> they hadn't really looked into that.
> Am I crazy here?
> Prof. Glenn Harlan Reynolds
> College of Law, University of Tennessee
> 1505 W. Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37996-1810
> "It is a chief characteristic of the religion
> of science, that it works." -- Isaac Asimov
daughters and kitten
(haiku, rfd, 12/00)
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