This Note critically examines the federalization of criminal law and the impact this trend is having on both the federal judicial system and the federalist structure of this country. Initially, this Note traces the history of the Commerce Clause, which laid the foundation for the unfettered modern commerce power. This Note then analyzes the reasoning relied upon in United States v. Lopez by both the circuit court and the Supreme Court. Additionally, this Note establishes that the Lopez Court did indeed recognize the underlying issue of federalism; however, it failed to effectively deal with the issue. Next, this Note illustrates the various problems that accompany the federalization of criminal law. This Note also sets out the growing national recognition of this trend as a genuine threat to our federal system. Finally, this Note suggests a possible solution to the impending crisis that faces our federal judiciary. It is the conclusion of this Note that if something is not done to curtail this current trend to federalize criminal law, the principle of federalism upon which this country is founded will be nothing more than an abandoned historic concept as we move closer and closer to a federal police state.
A Landmark Lost: The Anemic Impact of United States v. Lopez, 115 S. Ct. 1624 (1995), on the Federalization of Criminal Law,
75 Neb. L. Rev.
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