Judge Friedman says that Congress lacks the authority to pass such a law, because laws of that nature are reserved for the states to enact. The federal law was passed in 1996 under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The judge ruled the banning FGM under that clause is unconstitutional, because there is nothing about it that is commercial or economic. [Regardless of what one thinks about FGM, the judge ruled correctly, because the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to prohibit this practice. That authority – and a lot more – is reserved to the states. Therefore, the states are where this issue must be resolved. That's what the Constitution is all about.] -GEG
A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that the U.S. law banning female genital mutilation was unconstitutional and dismissed charges against several doctors in Michigan who carried out the procedure on underage girls as part Muslim sect's religious practice.