COMMENT: THE CHILD SUPPORT RECOVERY ACT OF 1992: SQUEEZING BLOOD FROM A STONE Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1996 Seton Hall University, Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal
Seton Hall Constitutional Journal

COMMENT: THE CHILD SUPPORT RECOVERY ACT OF 1992:
SQUEEZING BLOOD FROM A STONE

Spring, 1996

6 Seton Hall Const. L.J. 845

Author

Amy E. Watkins

Excerpt





I. INTRODUCTION
 
Jeffrey Nichols is a 47-year-old investment adviser who earns approximately $ 180,000 per year 1 and lives in a home valued at $ 500,000. 2 Mr. Nichols also owes over $ 580,000 in overdue child support payments. 3 In order to avoid paying this child support, he hid his money by transferring it into separate bank accounts in two foreign countries and three different states. 4 He even denied that he fathered the three children produced from his sixteen-year marriage to his first wife. 5 In 1990, the State of New York issued a warrant for his arrest when he only owed $ 68,000. 6 However, Mr. Nichols avoided multiple efforts to enforce his child support obligation by moving from state to state and, at one point, to Canada. 7 Finally, in August of 1995, Mr. Nichols was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") under the 1992 Child Support Recovery Act. 8

The constitutionality of the Child Support Recovery Act is presently being challenged and the Act has been invalidated in some federal courts. 9 Recently, in United States v. Schroeder 10 and its companion case, United States v. Mussari, 11 the United States District Court for Arizona found the Act to be unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause, which empowers Congress to regulate matters affecting commerce occurring among the states. 12 Pivotal to the district court's analysis was the Supreme Court's recent decision in United States v. Lopez, 13 limiting Congress's authority to ...
 
 
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