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News Briefs

Bill to Widen Military Response Toward Violence Against Women


A New York congresswoman introduced Thursday what could be the most ambitious legislation to reform the military’s response to violence against women, proposing se to occur,” said Slaughter, who chairs the bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. “It is my hope that this bill is a first step in that direction.”

Slaughter’s broad measures for improving investigations and services for victims.

Democrat Louise Slaughter’s 241-page bill, which probably will not see light during the current lame-duck session, is unique because it attempts to tackle sexual and domestic-violence crimes with the same resources, despite a history in Washington of treating the crimes separately.

“We must change entirely the culture that permits this kind of abu bill, the “Prevention and Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Act,” would expand and add specificity to recent congressional mandates that ordered the military to standardize victims’ services and investigations into sexual assault crimes.

Under her proposal, services and treatment for victims would be made more widely available through designated response teams, a concept long proposed by a Connecticut-based advocacy organization, The Miles Foundation. The Miles Foundation helped advise Slaughter on the bill.

“The bill would create a foundation of law and policy,” according to Anita Sanchez, spokeswoman for the Miles Foundation.

Illinois Ruling for Gun Makers

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- CHICAGO

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that gun makers and dealers cannot be held responsible for crimes committed with the weapons they make and sell.

In a unanimous decision, the justices said they did not have legal authority to tighten restrictions on the manufacture and sale of guns.

“We point to the virtue of judicial restraint,” they wrote. “Any change of this magnitude in the law affecting a highly regulated industry must be the work of the Legislature, brought about by the political process, not the work of the courts.”

The ruling was the latest setback in efforts by gun control advocates to use “public nuisance” laws as a way to force courts to tighten restrictions on the sale of firearms. Several cases brought by other cities have been dismissed by the courts, and 30 states have passed laws granting the industry immunity from suits. In Illinois, the justices said they could not accept a “novel application” of laws against public nuisances.