The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday held a hearing on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which expires in September. You can see the hearing here (there is also text of the remarks).

VAWA will almost certainly be reauthorized, but some who sat in on yesterday's hearing came away dismayed that reforms proposed by the Coalition to End Domestic Violence (whose open letter IWF signed) were entirely overlooked.

The CEDV had asked to committee to adopt reforms that "ensure the values of family preservation, limited government, and due process, will no longer be under assault with this legislation."

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Committee, made brief opening remarks (here).  

 "What was so troubling was that there was no mention, even in passing, of the fundamental concepts of due process, constitutional protections, or the presumption of innocence, on campus or beyond," said Edward Bartlett of CEDV.

Every five years, VAWA comes up for reauthorization, affording opportunity to improve a flawed piece of legislation. This time, once again, those who express concerns about due process and allowing the victim more leeway in deciding what is best for the family, are worried that they might not be heard.