United States v. Lopez (1995)

Supreme Court Decision.

To assess your knowledge and skills in government and politics answer these sample multiple-choice questions based on the provided excerpt from the Supreme Court Case United States v. Lopez (1995). Read the excerpt from the ruling and answer the multiple questions below the excerpt.  The correct answers will appear below the questions.

“But even these modern-era precedents which have expanded congressional power under the Commerce Clause confirm that this power is subject to outer limits. In Jones & Laughlin Steel, the Court warned that the scope of the interstate commerce power “must be considered in the light of our dual system of government and may not be extended so as to embrace effects upon interstate commerce so indirect and remote that to embrace them, in view of our complex society, would effectually obliterate the distinction between what is national and what is local and create a completely centralized government.

We do not doubt that Congress has authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate numerous commercial activities that substantially affect interstate commerce and also affect the educational process. That authority, though broad, does not include the authority to regulate each and every aspect of local school.” Majority Opinion, Chief Justice Rehnquist, United States v. Alfonso Lopez (1995)

1. In writing our “dual system of government” Chief Justice Rehnquist is referring to which constitutional principle?

A. Checks and balances

B. Bicameralism

C. Federalism

D. Separation of powers


2. What is the significance of the decision United States v. Alfonso Lopez (1995)?

A. The Supreme Court expanded the power of the federal government in the successful invocation of the Commerce Clause.

B. State governments could challenge federal government behavior using the Commerce Clause

C. Second Amendment protections were reaffirmed by the Supreme Court.

D. The Supreme Court limited the power of the federal government under the Commerce Clause.


3. Which of the following is most similar to the ruling in United States v. Alfonso Lopez?

A. Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

B. Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964)

C. United States. v. Morrison (2000)

D. Wickard v. Filburn (1942)


And the answers are . . . 
C, D, and C
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