Focus Point - Supreme Court DecisionCommentary by Pete du Pont
May 22, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. The Supreme Court handed down an important ruling last week.
By a 5-4 decision, the court invalidated a six-year-old federal law that allowed rape victims to sue their attackers in federal court. The provision was part of the Violence Against Women Act.
For the record, I think if state legislatures want to grant women the power to sue their attackers, that's good. But rape isn't a federal offense, and that was the court's point. The majority stuck up for the Constitution, rejecting the Clinton administration's argument that it was a valid extension of the Interstate Commerce clause. Rape as Interstate Commerce? It doesn't compute.
The National Organization For Women whined that the decision "took the federal government out of the business of defining civil rights." Wrong. It took the federal government out of state courthouses, where the founders knew it didn't belong. And about time, too.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, the case against Hillary.