Attorney: 'Setback' ruling really a federalism issue

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

gavel with U.S. flagAn attorney is applauding a federal ruling that appears, at first glance, to shrug off the brutal practice of female genital mutilation.

(Caution: this story contains content that some may find objectionable)

A federal judge in Michigan ruled last week that a federal law protecting girls from genital mutilation is unconstitutional, a case brought about after several doctors carried out the procedure in Michigan.

FGM is a religious custom performed by Dawoodi Bohra, a Muslim sect that included Dr. Jumana Nagarwala and other Detroit-area defendants who are accused of mutilating 100 girls over 12 years.

Women's rights's groups described the ruling as a "setback" for girls' protections, and the U.S. Attorney's Office also denounced the ruling. 

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman called the practice "despicable" but ruled that Congress has no authority to enact such a law, Fox News reported. 

"I wish we had more federal judges who are willing to rein back the authority of the federal government," responds attorney Rob Muise of the American Freedom Law Center.

woman wearing burqa (burka)"The court didn't find that there was some sort of right of Muslims to engage in female genital mutilation," Muise explains. "What [Friedman] did find was that Congress didn't have the right to prohibit it as a matter of criminal law without there being some basis in the Constitution for the authority to do so."

Michigan has an anti-FGM law that includes a 15-year maximum sentence, Muise points out, while the federal law is only a five-year maximum.

According to The Associated Press, only about half the states have laws prohibiting female genital mutilation. 

"This should be a notice to all states," Muise tells OneNewsNow, "that you need to pass state laws that prohibit this sort of conduct."

The doctor and other defendants are still facing federal charges of conspiracy and obstruction. 

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

FEATURED PODCAST

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

When the Democratic Party woos black voters during election time, they most often hear…

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Impeachment hearing takeaways: Day 5
Israel's Netanyahu charged in corruption cases
  California justices reject law requiring Trump tax returns
Democrats spar at debate over health care, how to beat Trump
Survey: About 1 in 4 Europeans hold anti-Semitic beliefs
Bloomberg files campaign paperwork, no decision on bid yet

LATEST FROM THE WEB

'Kunta Kinte' T-shirt fits Kaepernick perfectly
Two Iowa race incidents prove common sense is scarce
Other people’s money
Chick-fil-A’s shameful capitulation
We'll tell you who's privileged

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
A preemptive step to avoid fines, possible jail time

Brush & Nib (artists)Two Christian business owners in Phoenix are hoping their legal challenge to a local ordinance will usher in a happy new year for them.