In what many people are calling a gross violation of justice, a Detroit judge has dismissed an FGM case involving nine child victims.
A Detroit judge has declared that America’s duly passed female genital mutilation law is unconstitutional, and dismissed a case involving nine child victims who were savagely mutilated by a Michigan doctor and six other people, including the victim’s parents.
The case involved minor girls from Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, including some who cried, screamed and bled during the brutal cutting, “and one who was given Valium ground in liquid Tylenol to keep her calm, court records show.”
“The judge’s ruling also dismissed charges against three mothers, including two Minnesota women whom prosecutors said tricked their 7 -year-old daughters into thinking they were coming to metro Detroit for a girls’ weekend, but instead had their genitals cut at a Livonia clinic as part of a religious procedure.”
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said that “as despicable as this practice may be,” Congress did not have the authority to pass the 22-year-old federal law that criminalizes female genital mutilation.
However, his ruling shows that he apparently doesn’t think it’s that “despicable,” since he let the culprits go and basically told child victims that their pain and mutilation means nothing.
He claimed states must regulate FGM, despite it being banned worldwide, and outlawed in more than 30 countries.
Before this ‘judge’ got involved, the U.S. statute had never been tested before this case.
“As laudable as the prohibition of a particular type of abuse of girls may be … federalism concerns deprive Congress of the power to enact this statute,” Friedman wrote, adding, “Congress overstepped its bounds by legislating to prohibit FGM … FGM is a ‘local criminal activity’ which, in keeping with long-standing tradition and our federal system of government, is for the states to regulate, not Congress.”
Of course, to many other liberals, that sort of legality doesn’t apply to the Second Amendment.
“Currently, 27 states have laws that criminalize female genital mutilation, including Michigan, whose FGM law is stiffer than the federal statute, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, compared with five under federal law.
“Michigan’s FGM law was passed last year in the wake of the historic case and applies to both doctors who conduct the procedure, and parents who transport a child to have it done. The defendants in this case can’t be retroactively charged under the new law.
“Friedman’s ruling stems from a request by Dr. Jumana Nagarwala and her codefendants to dismiss the genital mutilation charges, claiming the law they are being prosecuted under is unconstitutional.”
The defendants are all members of a small Indian Muslim sect known as the Dawoodi Bohra that practices ‘female circumcision’ and believes it involves only a minor “nick.”
FGM survivor and social activist Mariya Taher, who heads a campaign out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to ban FGM worldwide, said the ruling was a punch to the gut.
“Oh my God, this is crazy,” said Taher, adding, “Unfortunately, this is going to embolden those who believe that this must be continued … they’ll feel that this is permission, that it’s OK to do this.”
“This is a violation of one person’s human rights. It’s a form of gender violence. … This is cultural violence,” Taher said.
Yasmeen Hassan, executive global director for Equality Now explained, “It says you are not important,” Hassan said, calling the ruling a “federal blessing” for FGM.
“In this day and age, for FGM to still occur — and a federal government can’t regulate this with a human rights violation — is very bizarre,” she said. “This is not what I expected. It’s so not what I expected.
“I don’t think it’s possible for the federal government not to appeal this case. My feeling is that it will go all the way to the Supreme Court,” she added.
Friedman’s ruling also drew the ire of Sen. Rick Jones, who said, “I’m angry that the federal judge dismissed this horrific case that affected upwards of a hundred girls who were brutally victimized and attacked against their will.”
“This is why it was so important for Michigan to act. We set a precedent that female genital mutilation will not be tolerated here, and we did so by passing a state law that comes with a 15-year felony punishment,” Jones said. “I hope other states will follow suit.”
The federal statute at issue states, “Whoever knowingly circumcises, excises or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person” under the age of 18 shall be fined or imprisoned for up to five years, or both.
Prosecutors argue Nagarwala did exactly that, when she cut the genitals of two 7-year-old girls who were tricked into the procedure last year.
Nagarwala may have subjected up to 100 girls to the procedure over a 12-year period.
But, that didn’t seem to matter to Freidman.
“There is nothing commercial or economic about FGM,” Friedman wrote. “As despicable as this practice may be, it is essentially a criminal assault. … FGM 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.”
However, on September 30, 1996, the female genital mutilation law was signed into law.
Nagarwala, meanwhile, is still facing a conspiracy charge and an obstruction count that could send her to prison for 20 years, along with the Attars. If convicted of conspiracy, Nagarwala faces up to 30 years in prison.
The case is set to go to trial in April 2019.