Category: Legal News Summaries

Why the N.R.A. Opposes New Domestic Abuse Legislation by Sheryl Gay Stolberg

Why the N.R.A. Opposes New Domestic Abuse Legislation

Sheryl Gay Stolberg

Long has the NRA fought to keep guns in circulation, many times making the most irrational arguments imaginable. In this prolific piece, Sheryl Stolberg attempts to isolate their latest attempts, fighting the renewal of the revised VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) as it once again attempts to close the boyfriend loophole. Which essentially is a gap in the DV sections of VAWA that allow perpetrators of violence and stalking to still be able to posses a firearm if there is no formal relationship between partners (e.g. fiance, spouse). The current rendition of the VAWA which redefines that no formal nor any relationship be required for the law to be applied. The perpetrator simply needs to be convicted Sheryl Stolberg rightfully points out that the NRA’s core argument that the revision means it can be applied to any trivial act is ridiculous, since the law requires the person be convicted of stalking. Certainly something one or two simple texts, without other prior conduct, will not get you convicted for stalking. Stolberg justly summarizes the article by pointing out even in likely Republican allies such as Trump, Pence, and Lindsey Graham are increasingly behind red flag laws which apprehend firearms for those convicted of partner violence. Highlighting the unpopularity of the NRA’s opinion.

In my honest opinion the NRA needs to back down on this one. It’s need to challenge every single gun control law regardless of how sensible the law is has gone from laughable to downright offensive. This latest objection is just a demonstration of how contemptuous they’re rhetoric can get. As a victim of multiple forms of violence in my youth  and partner violence in my adulthood, I take offense to the NRA’s attempt to humanize the 2nd amendment rights of violent perpetrators. Not just personally., but socially and ethically. The position is both irreprehensible and irredeemable. At what point do we say enough is enough. Do we defend the rights of convicted serial killers to posses firearms in prison. Regardless of my feelings about neoconservative politics. I am glad the right has seen its way to steering clear of this train wreck. I am also glad Stolberg took on this topic and highlighted the right-wing who currently support adverse policies.


Trump Court Pick Neomi Rao Confirmed As Kavanaugh’s Appeals Court Replacement

In an article on March 13 Jennifer Bendery covers how the Neomi Rao was confirmed as the replacement for Kavanaugh. The article goes on to explain Rao’s problematic history, such as her published opinions on women and how they’re partly to blame in date rape. In addition they highlight how as the Administrator of Donald Trump’s Office or Information and Regulatory affairs Rao has worked to weaken protections for victims of sexual assault. Bendery continues to illuminate how Rao has never been a judge and recanthow Kavanaugh, confirmed only a few months earlier, amidst allegations of sexual assault. I presume to to contrast for oeony’s sake, that senate followed the appointment of an alleged assailant, by appointing someone who seems to be a rape apologist to replace them.

I am conflicted on this one. As a woman I want to be sympathetic to women everywhere. The problem comes from those who conflict with the general needs of women. Rao has demonstrated this time and time again as her desire to hold another woman accountable for drinking too much, translates into your responsible for what he did because your drunk. To put this into context, this is similar to blaming you for letting the rapist in because your bedroom window was open on a summer night. And my opinion is if you wouldn’t break into my bedroom in the middle of the night, then you shouldn’t be doing it to me when I’m incapacitated and unable to consent. Lastly my opinion is having an apologiest on the Supreme Court may not overturn the precedent set, she may alter it in such a way as for it to be counterproductive. Take for interest Texas. While abortion in Texas is very much legal. The regulation and licensing of abortion clinics, however, is so that it’s almost impossible to easily get an abortion unless you have transportation and means to travel great distances, you aren’t getting an abortion. Given Rao’s history, academic work, and public opinions I am deeply concerned: first the impact she’ll have on sexual assault issues, but over the long run on women’s issues in general. To say the least I think this is one appointment all victims of sexual assault will watch with a scrutinizing eye.

Link to article

‘Revenge Porn’ Law Finally Passes in New York

Great news came from Albany over the last week on Thursday February/28/2019. New York Law maker passed a bill to outlaw ‘Revenge Porn’.

The bill passage was long awaited and for many victims it was overdue.

What is Revenge porn?

Revenge porn is nonconsensual sharing of sexually explicit photos or videos. It is a really potent weapon against victims.

Before the passage of law in New York victims of revenge porn were helpless from years. Prosecutors were not able to charge offenders for the practice because it was not illegal and judges had to turn down appeals for the help on the ground of free speech First amendment Rights.

One of the victims Carrie Goldberg was also denied relief because family court judge told her that she had First Amendment Problem.

Minor or teenagers also do not have immunity from this law. Teenagers and minors will be prosecuted in family court due to (Juvenile Delinquency). Critics are worried that teenagers could go to jail. Due to being minor and tried in family court they will be sent to Juvenile Correctional Center.

This law involving constitution the First amendment Rights. Bill would follow federal law in granting social media platform some immunity from financial liability, holding offender who posted the media responsible.

This bill including the First amendment right qualify to be challenged under the jurisdiction of federal court (under federal-question jurisdiction), that’s why this bill should also be passed under Federal law so victims are not only be safe in forty-one states but all-over United States.

Why EL Chapo Ended Up in a Brooklyn Court

Trial of the Mexican Drug kingpin is the biggest trial in United States history.


Why Brooklyn: El Chapo was indicted in New York in 2009 on charges stemming from a series of drug related contract killing in Queens in 1993. The seat of Federal court district that also includes Queen is in Brooklyn. As stated in New York Times Article.


Explained Reason why El Chapo ended in Brooklyn:

When EL Chapo was indicted in New York in 2009 for drug related murder in 1993 which happened in the Queens.

US District Court (Eastern District OF NY) (EDNY)= Have its jurisdiction on Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island. If there is an issue arising under federal law under the jurisdiction of EDNY that issue will be reported to this district court. As arresting of El Chapo was big issue and he was on a run and EDNY had issued warrant for his arrest that is why he was presented in the federal court in Brooklyn.


Vishal Mohan

New York Passes a Ban on ‘Conversion Therapy’ After Years-Long Efforts (

This article addresses the passing of the law which banned conversion therapy. Since 2003, this bill was introduced by lawmakers but this year it became apart of the law. In 2016, the LGBT community had to denounce the Republican party for their stance and platform based upon the practice of conversion therapy. In relation to the gay and bisexual community, it also extended to the community of gender fluid individuals,  all who are also protected under New York’s discrimination and hate crime laws. The old practice of conversion therapy had proven to have caused unduly trauma to the one’s who had experienced it according to medical professionals and also agreed upon by Gov Andrew M Cuomo.  Matthew Shurka, another advocate against the treatment, believes that ‘conversion therapy’ assumes that everyone is straight and the real reason behind homosexuality is childhood trauma that requires healing. The bill began picking up momentum by 2013 though, when California passed the bill.  A few years after that New York was introduced but New Jersey went ahead and barred the treatment first. According to Cuomo, New York lagged behind but in the end the conversion therapy ban came down to the passing Assembly of 134 to 3 and the Senate 57 to 4.

When gay marriages was legalized in 2011,  I believe that it opened up a further conversation about the practice that endorses changing the mindset of gay people through therapy. In my opinion, conversion therapy was a vile way some parents went about trying to  change their misunderstood homosexual children. In the earlier years,  homosexuality was frowned upon and viewed as a mental illness.  Thus, many homophobic parents sought help through programs for their kids struggling with their sexuality and I believe that, conversion therapy further exploited its patients based on this theory. Nevertheless, the cost and scares that it’d left many of its patients was exponential before the passing of this bill. Prior to reading this article, I’d heard and read about conversion therapy and it was gratifying when it finally became law. Homosexuality, is still a complex status in today’s society with many persons who are oftentimes discriminatory towards gay people. It is comforting to know that it is no longer acceptable in an ever evolving state such as New York. Hopefully, it can provide the comfort some kids or even like minded adults faced with the struggle of self-acceptance to know that they belong to a city that no longer condemns them, but more so encourages them to be who they are.

(02/06/2019, The National Review, David French, The Supreme Court Upholds a Grave Violation of the First Amendment)

(02/06/2019, The National Review, David French, The Supreme Court Upholds a Grave Violation of the First Amendment)
[article link referenced below]

Dominique Ray could probably go down as one of the least popular and most hated people in America. After raping and murdering a 15 year old woman. An act so horrific none of us feel he should even be afforded the slightest amenity at all. But we are a nation of laws and as David French rightfully argues the denial of Ray’s request for his imam to be present at his execution is a clear violation of Ray’s first amendment rights. That if the case was argued on merits alone, substituting a Christian Chaplain in place of Ray’s imam, it would have been a unanimous decision in Ray’s favor. Also eluding to Justice Kagan’s opinion,.
David notes that since the case was not decided on merits “it doesn’t impact substantive constitutional law”. Still it does represent an injustice and one the Supreme Court could have easily reversed 9-0. Providing reason to believe that this case was decided conveniently on the basis of religious bias.

Both Justice Kagan and David French hit the nail on the head. But I feel, at the same time, both miss an equally compelling point to the way this trial concluded. So often the course of law altered at the opinions of our courts. We have the precedent we all know, that sets or alters the course of how law is interpreted and applied in our daily lives. But there’s also what I’ll call precedent of public opinion. To. Illustrate this I’ll reference the 2000 elections. In 2000 Bush’ election to the oval office was highly contested and nowhere more than Florida. Ultimately the case reached the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of Florida. But it did so based on the technicality a recount would take longer than legally allowed under normal circumstances, without considering any other lawful exceptions, most notably Katherine Harris’ clear conflict of interest. Now, Notice in 2016 when Trump was highly contested how few claims were filed to have recounts and how few recounts there were when compared to 2000. In future days I wouldn’t be surprised if many first amendment claims don’t attempt the Supreme Court because they’re Muslim or Sikh or Shinto. To echo similar sentiments to those of justices Stevens, Breyers, and Ginsburg 19 years ago. What must now underlie the thoughts of every non-Christian, and in particular Muslim, out there is an utter lack of confidence, both in our nation and in our system of justice.


Additional reference, Wikipedia Synopsis of Bush vs. Gore (531 US 98)

The Child Victim’s Act finally passes (they were Sexually Abused long ago, as children now they can sue in NY, Vivian Wang, NYT, 01/28/2019)

It’s official, that after 13 years the CVA( Child Victims Act) has passed,as. reported by Vivian Wang in the NY times (1/28/2019, link provided below) . The passage of the CVA (Child Victims Act) has many legal ramifications. Prior to passage of the Child Victim’s Act the Statute of Limitations was a standard SOL starting at the age of maturity (18) which meant survivors had until 23 or 5 years after they turned 18 to file any type of claim. The passage of the CVA would extend the time limit by advancing the age at which criminal SOL would start from 18 to 23, this effectively raising the an adult survivors of CSA could bring criminal charges against someone to 28. The act also extends the age at which a victim can civilly sue their assailant (or the institution, school, or organization that enabled them) anytime up to 50 years of age. Just to give some perspective one man mentioned in the article mentions had been molested when he was 16, and went on to say it was not until the age of 62 that he told the school the abuse had happened. Many survivors, some of them not even old enough speak, can take decades to come to terms with their abuse, if at all. The act also waives the victims responsibility of notifying the assailant, or organization of the intent to bring an action. As well it has given He courts a one year look back window, starting 6 months after it becomes active, into which all previously dismissed cases up to one year can be reevaluated on Merit and considered for Retrial. In addition to revisions retraining court personal and justices on how to deal with the new legislation.
In my personal opinion this law is a strong and effective step in the right direction that NYS has needed for a long time. For way too long NYS held on to antiquated legislation on Child Sexual Assault that often benefited the victimizer. Selling out their most vulnerable constituents for what reason I have yet to understand. In the past few years the running the excuse was from the Republican led senate finance committee, who claimed passing the law would just cost the state too much money. As if one could put a price tag on such a thing as child’s healthy development. Organizations like Who (The World Health Organization) have labeled it a major health concern. As a victim of Child Rape myself, I am absolutely elated this bill passed. The Civil part especially. According to the National Centers for Victims of Crime in the vast majority of cases where there is credible evidence a child has been penetrated, only between 5% and 15% show injuries consistent with child sexual abuse. Age wise 66% of victims being between 12-17 and 34% between under 12. And only about 38% of children attempt reporting sexual abuse, and that has no bearing on whether their perceived as credible or simply dismissed. With statistics like that it’s not hard to see why CSA is so apt to go on for years and years and year’s . It’s also disconcerting that even single instance CSA has been linked to high rates of CPTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Suicide and High Risk behaviors well into adulthood. The CDC estimated the annual cost of Child Maltreatment or Abuse in the US is an estimated $124 billion dollars. That’s a whopping 3.3% of our $3.8 billion budget. This includes immediate expenses , as well as loss of productivity and increased healthcare costs in adulthood. While this estimate is for all forms of child maltreatment, there is evidence that the consequences of child sexual abuse are equivalent or greater than the consequences of other forms of child maltreatment. CSA has been proportionally linked to an increase in minor and serious health problems among victims when compared with the general population as well. Which is why the extended civil option is so important The amount of restitution can offset the lifetime costs of medical and psychological costs dealing with this pandemic. But the economics is just the beginning. Victims of CSA are more likely to suffer sexual and domestic violence as adults. Which is bad enough in states with adequate legislation. All things aside how New York could ever allow itself to not update its laws for so long, under this type of a threat, is completely incomprehensible.

Additional References pertinent to the law and CSA

Child Sexual Abuse Statistics