Surviving Castle Rock: The Human Rights of Domestic Violence
18 CARDOZO J. L. & GENDER 727 (2012)
25 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2012 Last revised: 15 Feb 2015
Date Written: February 16, 2012
In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales and held that Jessica Gonzales did not have a constitutional right to police enforcement of a restraining order. The decision highlighted the Court’s reluctance to recognize citizens’ affirmative rights, fortifying a deeply ingrained conceptualization of the Constitution of the United States as a “Negative Constitution” that creates a government with restraints on its actions and extremely limited obligations to its citizens. In August 2011, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released a report publicizing its finding that by failing to take affirmative measures to address domestic violence, the United States had violated the human rights of Jessica Gonzalez as well as human rights belonging to abuse survivors across the country. This essay will build on the Commission’s report by pinpointing the extent and cause of these human rights violations and the systematic oppression of American women and minority populations that cannot incite necessary change through the exercise of financial and political power. This essay will focus on solutions stemming from modern American jurisprudence and present opportunities to curb the economic, reputational, and expressive fallout of domestic violence in the United States.
Keywords: Domestic Violence, Gender, Human Rights, Social Justice, Due Process, Negative Constitution, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation