Max D. Siegel

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families, protection, domestic violence


Reprinted in Domestic Violence Law by Nancy K.D. Lemon. 4th edition, 2013.


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 Article builds 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 Article focuses 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.


18 Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender 727 (2012).


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Family Law | Human Rights Law

Recommended Citation

18 Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender 727 (2012).