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News Posted on April 11, 2013

Associate Dean Amar Comments on Amish Hate Crime Case for Associated Press

Vikram Amar, Associate Dean and Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law, commented for the Associated Press on the case of a group of Amish men and women found guilty of hate crimes for cutting the hair and beards of members of their faith they believed were straying from core beliefs.  Sixteen Amish were convicted in the case and have now filed appeals on various grounds, raising arguments that could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court, the article notes.

One issue of interest is how far the federal government's authority to criminalize conduct because of some prior transportation of items used in the crime across state lines should extend.  For instance, if the scissors used in this particular crime were bought 20 years ago, "I could see a lot of appellate judges and Supreme Court judges say, 'That's too loose a test and gives Congress too much power,'" Amar said.

The Associated Press report was published in numerous media outlets, including FOX News, U.S. News & World Reports, Huffington Post, and many others.

Vikram Amar, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Law with the UC Davis School of Law, is a national authority in the fields of constitutional law, civil procedure, criminal procedure, and remedies. His biweekly column for, a leading provider of online legal information, centers on his expertise in constitutional law.

Associated Press