Among the cases decided during the survey period (1996-1997), two opinions stand out as particularly noteworthy. First, United States v. Branch is certainly notable because it involved the prosecution of members of a religious sect, the Branch Davidians, and their participation in a gun battle which resulted in the death of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The case is also significant due to the variety of new issues it raised. The second case of note, United States v. Lewis, is important because the Supreme Court granted certiorari and is likely to resolve a conflict among the circuit courts as to an issue involving the Assimilative Crimes Act. In addition to these two cases, the Fifth Circuit continues to confront numerous interpretational issues involving the offense of "using or carrying a firearm" in relation to a crime of violence or drug trafficking. Finally, during the survey period the court also answered challenges that several federal laws violate the Commerce Clause based on the Supreme Court's opinion in United States v. Lopez.