Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Government's Failure to Prevent Harm

There is a very important yet little talked about Supreme Court case decided a few years back: Castle Rock v Gonzales [ 545 U.S. 748 (2005)]. Jessica Gonzales had a restraining order/an order of protection against her (ex) husband Simon. One evening he abducted their three daughters, and though she called the Castle Rock (Colorado) police repeatedly over the course of the evening to enforce the order, nothing was done. Simon committed death by police, and the police found the bodies of the 3 girls in his truck.
The Supreme Court's opinion written by Scalia basically said that enforcement of a restraining order was not mandatory under Colorado law. This is just one of a series of decisions that state that the government's role to prevent harm is not an entitlement, and its failure to act to prevent harm is within their exercise of (administrative) discretion.
You may also want to read Kristian Miccio's article cogent article on this case, and the future of domestic violence/battering movement .http://works.bepress.com/g_kristian_miccio/4/. Miccio teaches at Sturm School of Law (she taught at SUNY New Paltz prior).

The question now posed is: what now? Is the Domestic Violence Movement now toothless? How do we protect abused women? How do we hold our government responsible?

Jessica Gonzales brought her case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIM). The CIM heard her testimony in November 2008 and January of this year, and are suppose to rule by year's end.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


In today's NYT there is an article on
"Customer Bias in Favor of White Men."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Say What????

Somehow I don't believe we are post-feminist quite yet....there is still way too much to do to reach equality! Yet, feminism/feminists have a bad reputation (thanks to Rush, et al) so many people do not call themselves feminists, even though they believe in feminist ideals and goals.
What do you all think?

CNN has an article posted re: is Feminism Obsolete

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Maloney v Gillibrand

In today's NYT, Gail Collins takes a look at the potential senatorial primary race between Kirsten Gillibrand and Carolyn Maloney. www.nytimes.com/2009/06/18/opinion/18collins.html?ref=opinion

Collins raises some interesting questions:
What do we want in our legislators: strong principles or our principles?
How do we (want to ) reward hardworking legislators--with re-election so that they may continue their good work, or with a promotion where basically they have to start over?

The third question she raises: should the president have a voice in this process, or do we care I believe is a red herring: can we say "coattails" or "endorsements" or "campaign politics as usual" ? Because Obama has already weighed in on this, and in doing so slighted Maloney because he had Biden ask her not to run, while he, himself called on Steve Israel to ask the same.

Monday, June 8, 2009

An excellent letter in support of Judge Sottomayor

From today's NYT letter To the Editor:
Women and minorities have suffered a long history of legal and other decisions, made predominantly by white men, that disenfranchised them, kept them underpaid and denied them access to many educational and job opportunities. Those white men probably thought that their decisions were based on objective facts rather than their particular perspectives.
Not only do male justices need to hear the perspectives of women, particularly women of color, but they and those who confirm them also need to recognize that white men — like everyone — have perspectives informed by race and gender.
When Justice Stephen G. Breyer brings his youthful locker-room recollections into discussion of a case about strip-searching a young woman, who among his male colleagues (or those men who confirmed him) is disturbed that he is calling upon a gender-based experience?
We should be more concerned that a woman’s perspective may not be heard, even when a woman is present. When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says that her comments are sometimes ignored in the group of male justices until someone else makes the same point, she is reporting the experience of countless lone women in male groups. I detailed this experience in a study I co-wrote on “Critical Mass on Corporate Boards: Why Three or More Women Enhance Governance” (Wellesley Centers for Women, 2006).
I have no doubt that putting a second woman back on the court would have the same beneficial effect as adding a second woman to a corporate board, and that a third would be even better for the operation of justice.
Vicki W. Kramer Philadelphia, June 5, 2009