This Note focuses on two important pieces of social-policy legislation that could be affected by United States v. Lopez: the Violence against Women Act (VAWA) and the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). Conflicts exist in the lower federal courts regarding the constitutionality of both statutes, which were enacted under the Commerce Clause. This Note seeks to resolve the dispute in favor of upholding both acts. Part I surveys the major cases in the history of the Commerce Clause as they relate to social-policy legislation, up to and including Lopez. Part II discusses the conflicting cases in the district courts and courts of appeals regarding VAWA and FACE and the different interpretations that lower courts have given Lopez. Part III suggests policy reasons why VAWA and FACE should be upheld. Part IV concludes that even if Lopez does change the scope of Commerce Clause power, and the deference that courts apply to that power, these two acts should still be upheld, as the majority of lower courts have already confirmed the constitutionality of the statutes.

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Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 28, No. 1 (1997), pp. 182-212