Federal Courts Jurisdiction Using the US V. Lopez Case

The United States federal courts compose the judiciary branch of the government that is designed under the laws and the constitution of the federal government (Posner, 1999). The constitution puts in place a national government of enumerated and limited powers. The United States v. Lopez gives a fresh appreciation for federalism first principles, localism and subsidiary (David James, 2009). The court proceeding in Lopez is a reminder of protects and resumes diffused and splintered, yet balanced a reflection of power and sovereignty (Posner, 1999).

Appreciation for Federalism, Localism and Subsidiary

United States v. Lopez indicate that, apart from issues controlled by the federal constitution or congress acts, the only law to be applied in any kind of case is the state’s law. Therefore, the declaration of the State’s law by either its highest court or statute in a given decision is not subjected to federal concern. Consequently, the congress is powerless in declaring substantive rules of the law applicable in federal state whether they are general or local in nature, part of the law of torts or commercial law. Additionally, in this constitution, there is no clause that purports to confer such power on the federal courts (David James, 2009).


In the United State constitution, the commerce power is the foundation for most federal criminal laws such as drug trafficking, collar crimes, sex and firearms offences. Therefore, the fact that a crime occurred in entirely one state does not remove it from the law of commerce provided that it is related to it (David James, 2009). The Lopez decision as provided in 514 U.S. 549, is the only existing restriction on clause of commerce law. In the case, the Supreme Court ruled that Gun-Free School Zone Act that penalized firearms possession on school premises was beyond the authority of congress and thus was not constitutional as there was no connection between interstate commerce and possession of firearms (Posner, 1999).

In conclusion, as a result of the tenth amendment in the United States v. Lopez 514 U.S 549, the federal law mandating a gun free zone on and around public institutions was removed as a result of the Supreme Court ruling that there was no constitution clause authorizing it (David James, 2009).

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