Joining a national debate on the constitutionality of a 1994 law allowing victims of gender-motivated violence to sue the perpetrator in federal court, a federal judge in Manhattan yesterday issued a ruling upholding the law.

Southern District Judge Jed S. Rakoff rejected claims, articulated most recently in a March 5 banc ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is an impermissible and “sweeping intrusion” into the regulation of non-commerce activity traditionally handled by the states.

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