CIR's congressional authority cases have reined in the power power of the federal government and restored principles of limited government that the founders had always intended and the courts have often ignored.

U.S. v. Morrison

May 2000

U.S. v. Morrison

The Center for Individual Rights won a landmark legal victory, limiting Congress' authority under the Commerce Clause, which for decades the courts had expanded ever more broadly, until there was seemingly nothing that Congress could not do. CIR defended a student athlete in a civil suit against ill-founded charges of rape, filed under the unconstitutional Violence Against Women Act.

U.S. v. Miller

Aug 2014

U.S. v. Miller

CIR represented Kathryn Miller, an Amish woman who was charged under federal hate crime legislation for participating in the forcible cutting of an Amish man's beard. CIR challenged the authority of the Congress to enact and enforce civil laws that were the traditional duty of the states.

Burgess v. Cahall

Jul 2000

Burgess v. Cahall

CIR filed a lawsuit challenging the Violence Against Women Act, which was a gross overreach of Congressional power under the commerce clause. The case was dismissed when the Court overturned VAWA in U.S. v, Morrison

Past Cases

Case Status: Case resolved on other grounds

U.S. v. Miller

August 16th 2012

CIR is representing Kathryn Miller, an Amish woman appealing her conviction for the federal "hate crime" of participating in the forcible cutting of the beards and hair of other Amish for religious reasons. CIR contends that Congress lacks the authority under the Commerce Clause to prosecute purely instate conduct (such as assault) unless the crime involves some connection with interstate commerce...

Case Status: Victory. After CIR's victory in U.S. v. Morrision, complaint dismissed on July 18, 2000.

Burgess v. Cahall

February 29th 2000

Successfully defended a company official against charges of sexual harassment. Challenging 1994 Violence Against Women Act as unconstitutional...

Case Status: Victory. Morrison is one of the defining Commerce Clause precedents of the decade.

U.S. v. Morrison

July 26th 1996

CIR defended a student athlete in a civil suit against ill-founded charges of rape. The case successfully challenged portions of 1994 Violence Against Women Act as unconstitutional exercise of Congress's authority under the Commerce Clause and Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment...

View All Past Cases & Amicus Briefs

Amicus Briefs

Case Status: Victory

Seila Law LLC v. CFPB

July 3rd 2020

CIR filed an amicus brief arguing that the separation of powers and the president’s responsibility to faithfully execute the law requires that the president retain the authority to remove administrative officers who wield executive power as he deems necessary...

Case Status: Loss

King v. Burwell; Halbig v. Burwell

October 21st 2014

CIR represented several members of Congress in an amicus effort designed to support two challenges to the Obama Administration's decision to set aside a provision of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") that limits federal heath care subsidies to individuals in states that have created healthcare exchanges...

Case Status: Loss. Supreme Court upheld the ACA under Congress's taxing authority.

Florida v. HHS

August 15th 2012

CIR filed amicus briefs in case challenging individual mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, more popularly known as "ObamaCare"...