“There is nothing commercial or economic about FGM”
Tuesday, a federal judge dismissed charges of female genital mutilation against several doctors, asserting the law is unconstitutional.
The Detroit News has more:
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman comes two weeks after defense lawyers mounted the first challenge to a 22-year-old genital mutilation law that went unused until April 2017.
That’s when Dr. Jumana Nagarwala of Northville was arrested and accused of heading a conspiracy that lasted 12 years, involved seven other people and led to mutilating the genitalia of nine girls as part of a religious procedure practiced by some members of the Dawoodi Bohra, a Muslim sect from India that has a small community in Metro Detroit.
Friedman delivered a significant, but not fatal, blow to a novel criminal prosecution being closely followed by members of the sect and international human-rights groups opposed to female genital mutilation. The case raised awareness in the U.S. of a controversial procedure and prompted Michigan to enact new laws criminalizing female genital mutilation.
Friedman removed four defendants from the case — including three mothers accused of subjecting their daughters to female genital mutilation — while concluding Congress had no authority to enact a law criminalizing female genital mutilation, known as FGM.
“There is nothing commercial or economic about FGM,” Friedman wrote in a 28-page opinion. (Female genital mutilation) is not part of a larger market and it has no demonstrated effect on interstate commerce. The Commerce Clause does not permit Congress to regulate a crime of this nature.”
For our previous coverage on this story, see:
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