Doe v. Mercer

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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.

Full Case Title: 

Doe v. Mercer, 37 F. Supp. 2d 64 (D. Mass. 1999), rev'd in part on other grounds, sub nom. Doe v. Walker, 193 F.3d 42 (1st Cir. 1999)
  • Fairness in the Courts
  • Violence Against Women and Girls


  • VAWA Civil Rights Remedy
  • Authored Amicus Brief


The amicus brief was filed by Legal Momentum in December 1998 and joined by eleven other local and national sexual assault, domestic violence and women's rights organizations, and prepared with the assistance of O'Melveny & Myers. Drawing on VAWA's legislative history, we argued in defense of the law’s Constitutionality, joined by the Department of Justice, and in February 1999, the court ruled in our favor. The decision was eventually overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Morrison.