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-15-00

Supreme Court Rejects Civil Rights Remedy of the Violence Against Women Act

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

9/22/2014 Under the Affordable Care Act, More Women Then Ever Have Free Access to Contraception - Two-thirds of American woman now have access to free birth control, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Guttmacher Institute released a study Thursday showing steep increases in the number of women who were able to take full advantage of the ACA birth control benefit. . . .
 
9/22/2014 Climate Change Activists Take Over Manhattan to Demand Action - An estimated 400,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan over the weekend to demand world leaders take action on climate change. The People's Climate March, which some are calling the single largest call for climate action ever, took place ahead of Tuesday's emergency UN Climate Summit. Joining the march were several labor unions, former Vice President Al Gore, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton. . . .
 
9/22/2014 New President and National Unity Government Announced in Afghanistan - The Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced yesterday that the Afghan people have elected Dr. . . .