A “Supremer” Court?: How An Unfavorable Ruling In The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Should Impact United States Domestic Violence Jurisprudence, ETHAN KATE, Wis. Int’l L.J. 28:3

A “Supremer” Court?: How An Unfavorable Ruling In The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Should Impact United States Domestic Violence Jurisprudence
ETHAN KATE

ABSTRACT

” After her substantive and procedural due process claims were dismissed in the U.S. Supreme Court, Jessica Gonzales took the unprecedented step of filing a claim with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.  Gonzales’s case has implicated two hot-button issues in modern U.S. jurisprudence: domestic violence prevention and the role of international law in domestic courts. Several scholars have looked at Gonzales’s case as it relates either to domestic violence or international law, but few have looked at the interplay between both issues. Specifically, academic discussion of the issue largely ignores how international law should be used to shift U.S. policy toward domestic violence prevention. This article suggests that U.S. courts should follow a model similar to that used in evaluating cruel and unusual punishment. For juvenile death penalty, the Supreme Court looked at emerging international consensus to help determine “evolving
standards of decency.”

This precedent, as well as other “law-related human questions” where international law has been used, ought to provide a model that courts should follow in domestic violence prevention. This model can be used to slowly shift U.S. law to be consistent with the international community in requiring the government to protect its citizens from domestic violence perpetrated by private actors. Such a policy would be consistent with ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, as it would uphold states’ mandatory enforcement statutes where they create a special relationship between citizens and the government—something that the Court overlooked in Gonzales’s case when it arguably misapplied these standards. This article suggests that by deciding to enforce statutes like the one at issue in Gonzales, the United States would take a small, but definitive, step towards bringing its domestic violence policies in line with modern standards of decency. ”

For full article, see Volume 28:3

Image source: U.S. Supreme Court, Mark Fischer, http-_www.flickr.com_photos_tom_ruaat_with_3609210136_