Elizabeth Morgan Act

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The Elizabeth Morgan Act is an act of the 104th United States Congress, H.R. 1855, sponsored by Rep. Thomas M. Davis, which was passed as part of the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1997 (H.R. 3675), but declared unconstitutional as a bill of attainder in 2003.


Rep. Frank Wolf introduced the bill that became the District of Columbia Civil Contempt Imprisonment Limitation Act in 1989. He again involved himself in the Elizabeth Morgan case when he supported the bill that became the Elizabeth Morgan Act.[1]

In 1996, Congress passed the other bill, the Elizabeth Morgan Act, which permitted Hilary Fortich, who by then called herself Ellen Morgan, to decide whether or not to see her father. The 14-year-old returned with her mother to the United States, but declined to see her father. The father, Eric Foretich, sued in 1997, and the law was overturned as a bill of attainder by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2003, but had no practical effect on Hilary, who was by then 21 and could choose for herself whether or not to see her father.[1][2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Court strikes down law passed for mother who hid daughter". CNN. Associated Press. December 16, 2003. Archived from the original on December 3, 2007. Retrieved Jun 4, 2004. 
  2. ^ Henry, Emily (February 4, 2009). "Morgan vs. Foretich Twenty Years Later". LA Weekly. Los Angeles. Retrieved June 30, 2016. 
  3. ^ Carbone, June (June 1, 2007). "Family Law Armageddon: The Story of Morgan v. Foretich". Social Science Research Network. SSRN 983770Freely accessible.  . and Sanger, Carol (2007). Family Law Stories. Foundation Press. ISBN 978-1599410203.