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Congressional Authority — Michigan Federal Lawyers

By October 29, 2018May 8th, 2020No Comments

As Michigan federal defense lawyers, we take on some of the most difficult and unique battles.  Next week, our office will be arguing whether Congress had authority to enact the female genital mutilation statute.  The position by our federal defense lawyers, is that it did not.

It is our position, that Congress lacked authority to enact 18 U.S.C. § 116(a) for a number of significant reasons:

  1. Congress could not have enacted 18 U.S.C. § 116(a) pursuant to Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment only applies to state action. None of the accused are state actors.
  2. Congress could not have enacted 18 U.S.C. § 116(a) pursuant to a treaty because 18 U.S.C. § 116(a) regulates private conduct and the most applicable treaties are limited to acts occurring at the hand of state or government officials. Thus, 18 U.S.C. § 116(a) was not enacted pursuant to a power granted by the ratification of a treaty.
  3. Congress could not have enacted 18 U.S.C. § 116(a) pursuant to Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution, specifically the Commerce Clause. The statute was not enacted to regulate an activity having a substantial relationship to interstate commerce.
  4. And, finally, Congress could not have enacted 18 U.S.C. § 116(a) pursuant to the Necessary and Proper Clause, as the clause is not an independent power. See M’Culloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316, 323-324 (1819). It only grants Congress the authority to enact legislation necessary to its enumerated powers. United States v. Comstock, 560 U.S. 126, 133 (2010).

As such, in federal court next week, the lawyers will argue why the female genital mutilation charges in Michigan should be dismissed.  If Smith Blythe, PC is successful, the law regarding female genital mutilation will be deemed unconstitutional.  Please call the Michigan federal lawyers at Smith Blythe, if you or a loved one is facing federal charges and looking for the best defense.

Author Shannon Smith

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Michigan Criminal Sexual conduct Lawyer