Yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on police enforcement of restraining orders comforted police officers but distressed groups fighting domestic violence, says the Rocky Mountain News. The justices said Jessica Gonzales could not sue Castle Rock, Co., police for failing to stop her estranged husband from killing her three young daughters. Tom Rice, who represented Castle Rock, said the ruling relieved law enforcement officers everywhere: “The Supreme Court understood our argument that law enforcement discretion is paramount, that officers must be free to make choices — without fear of being unfairly second-guessed.”.
Lawyers for Gonzales had argued that she had a “property right” under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which guarantees due process for all, to have the restraining order enforced. The court ruled that no such right exists, pointing out that police have to make difficult decisions with limited resources. Gonzales called for legislative action to counter the court decision and “offer real protection to women and their families.” She said also, “The last thing you want to do is get a restraining order and think you’re safe. Because you’re absolutely not.”