Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

June-28-05

Supreme Court Decision Weakening Restraining Orders Short-Shrifted in the News

In its last day before summer recess, the Supreme Court issued decisions on six cases, only two of which, the decisions to outlaw copies of the Ten Commandments at a Kentucky courthouse and to protect copyrighted material in Internet file sharing, were widely covered by the media. In a troubling but all too familiar trend in media reporting, Castle Rock, Colorado v. Gonzales – a case that weakens enforcement of restraining orders in domestic violence cases – was largely ignored.

In a 7-2 decision, the Court ruled that Jessica Gonzales did not have a constitutional right to police enforcement of her mandatory court-ordered restraining order against her husband. Gonzales had filed a $30 million lawsuit against the Castle Rock, Colorado police department for failing to respond to five phone calls she made reporting a violation of the restraining order. The town of Castle Rock, backed by the Bush administration and several police organizations, won their argument that it would be unrealistic to enforce every restraining order. With the vast majority of restraining orders requested by women, according to the National Center for Violent Crime, the Castle Rock decision puts women’s lives in jeopardy and potentially lets police departments off the hook for failing to enforce mandatory orders.

FMF President Eleanor Smeal said of the ruling, “It is upsetting that this decision, which affects so many women and children, has been virtually ignored by the press. Even when women manage to pass tougher legislation, we can’t get it enforced. Mandatory restraining orders aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on if police officers are not required to enforce them.”

The National Center for Women and Policing joined Women in Federal Law Enforcement, the National Black Police Association, the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, the National Center for Women & Policing, and Americans for Effective Law Enforcement, Inc. in filing an amicus brief in support of Gonzales’ claim that her due process rights were violated.

The Castle Rock ruling comes at a time when the 2005 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is up for re-authorization. This landmark piece of legislation, first passed by Congress in 1994, provides federal funding and protections for the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault and assistance to victims, including provisions for improvements in law enforcement and judicial response. Now more than ever, the re-authorization of VAWA 2005 will be critical to protecting women and their children from violence.

DONATE "https://feminist.org/donations/foundation/donate.asp">to the Feminist Majority Foundation and support the National Center for Women and Policing

Media Resources: Feminist Daily News Wire 6/27/05; ACLU 6/27/05; National Center for Violent Crime


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/24/2014 Thousands of Women in Iran Protest Acid Attacks in Wake of Religious Law - On Wednesday, thousands of Iranians in the historic city of Isfahan gathered to protest recent acid attacks on women. . . .
 
10/24/2014 Potential Ballot Measure in DC Would Raise Minimum Wage to $15 - Low-wage workers in Washington, DC might see a significant increase in their pay, thanks to national labor rights group Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC). This month, the DC Board of Elections approved language submitted by a local chapter of ROC to raise the minimum wage in the District to $15/hour by 2019. . . .
 
10/23/2014 All of Tennessee's Major Newspapers Have Urged Voters to Reject Anti-Abortion Amendment 1 - All four of Tennessee's major papers have spoken out to oppose Amendment 1, a dangerous anti-abortion measure that will be decided by voters this fall. . . .