Supreme Court Program

Before DV LEAP, no domestic violence specific cases were argued before the Supreme Court. That changed within five years of our founding as we helped usher three DV appeals to the high court: Castle Rock v. GonzalesDavis v. WashingtonGiles v. California.  DV LEAP played a critical role in all three cases and remains committed to leading the domestic violence community’s advocacy in the highest courts. Our Supreme Court Program also includes the following three components.

Click here to learn about specific cases.

Supreme Court Roundup

DV LEAP is proud to announce the publication of our Supreme Court Roundup -- a summary of key Supreme Court cases of interest to the domestic violence field. 

This concise, informative chart lists important Supreme Court cases over the past decade, identifies DV LEAP's involvement, and explains the importance of each case for the field. DV LEAP updates the Roundup annually.

Click here to view the publication!

Law Reform

DV LEAP has consulted with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee regarding legislation addressing the Supreme Court’s confrontation clause jurisprudence and its impact on the criminal prosecution of domestic violence. Due to the outcomes in the Supreme Court's decisions in Crawford v. Washington (2004) and Davis v. Washington (2006), DV LEAP also monitors state court litigation to ensure that we are involved in cases of national importance.


DV LEAP publishes articles regarding the Supreme Court's confrontation clause jurisprudence and other constitutional rights issues, as well as the impact of these doctrines on domestic violence cases.  The following are selected publications:

  • Best Practices for Taking Appeals in Custody and Abuse Cases:  Practitioner's Checklist 
  • "Davis/Hammon, Domestic Violence, and the Supreme Court: The Case for Cautious Optimism." 105 Michigan Law Review First Impressions 22-27 (2006).
  • "Recent Developments: Double Jeopardy and Enforcement of Civil Protection Orders" 1 Texas Journal of Women and Law 269 (1992) (with Cahn, Naomi)
  • "The 'Right' to a Disinterested Prosecutor of Criminal Contempt: Unpacking Public and Private Interests." 70 Washington Law Quarterly 85 (1992)

DC Focus Program

DV LEAP pursues justice for survivors locally and nationally with a strong focus in Washington, DC. 

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