Addressed the constitutionality of the Violence Against Women Act civil rights remedy. The decision was overruled, in part, by the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Morrison.
The mother and sister of a 22-year-old woman who died by the hand of her ex-boyfriend brought this case, which included allegations that the ex-boyfriend violated the VAWA civil rights remedy. On April 8, 1999, the district court rejected defendants’ motion to dismiss her VAWA civil rights remedy and other claims. The court upheld the civil rights remedy’s constitutionality and explicitly disagreed with the Fourth Circuit’s en banc ruling in Brzonkala striking down the statute. Legal Momentum, joined by 15 local and national sexual assault, domestic violence, and women's rights groups, was amicus in the case. Cooperating law firm Foley, Hoag, & Eliot, assisted in preparing the brief and participated in the November 1998 oral argument. The plaintiff later withdrew the VAWA civil rights claim.