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

May-16-00

Supreme Court Rejects Civil Rights Remedy of

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday
rejected in a 5-4 ruling the civil rights section
of the 1994 federal Violence Against Women
Act (VAWA), preventing victims of rape
from suing their attackers in federal court.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who
authored the majority opinion, declared that
VAWA wrongly stepped on states' authority
to enforce the Constitution's equal-protection
provision, affirming the appeals court's
decision that victims of such violent,
gender-based crimes should not be permitted
to sue for damages in federal civil cases.

Rehnquist wrote "Petitioners' assertion that
there is pervasive bias in various state justice
systems against victims of gender-motivated
violence is supported by a voluminous
congressional record. However, the
Fourteenth Amendment places limitations on
the manner in which Congress may attack
discriminatory conduct."

Justice Breyer wrote the dissenting opinion, in
which Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg joined.

Last Spring, in Brzonkala v. Morrison, the
4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled
against Christy Brzonkala, who brought civil
charges against Antonio J. Morrison and
James Landale for rapes that occurred in
1994 in a dormitory at the Virginia
Polytechnic Institute.

This defeat is a major setback for protecting
women against violence. Until now, the Civil
Rights Remedy of the Violence Against
Women Act allowed victims to collect for
medical expenses and lost wages in civil suits.
The Supreme Court decision against this
provision leaves women with no federal civil
legal remedy for damages they suffer because
of violent attacks.

Media Resources: The Nando Times - 15 May 2000, U.S. v. Morrison et


© 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

5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children. The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
 
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram. On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children. While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
 
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation." "It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .