Republican Legislators Push to Curtail Domestic Violence

March 9, 2015

Republican Legislators take questions

Hartford-Republican legislators today called on the Governor and their colleagues in the General Assembly to take meaningful action to curb domestic violence in Connecticut while still respecting due process.

Chief among these suggestions is shortening the period, now fourteen days, between the filing of a temporary restraining order and the hearing date when the judge either grants or rejects the order.

The participants in the press conference expressed their willingness to work with the Governor and their Democratic colleagues to craft domestic violence legislation that is efficient, effective, and empathetic.

“We are looking for real solutions to this problem,” said Senator Markley (R-16). “When dealing with any complex issue, policy makers must consider all sides, and respect the rights of all parties involved.”

Two bills before the legislature’s judiciary committee will be up for public hearing on Wednesday March 11th. Both Senate Bill 650 and the Governor’s bill 6848 would place restrictions on the possession and storage of firearms. Neither bill addresses shortening the fourteen day period between the filing of a temporary restraining order and the hearing

“The bills proposed by the Governor and Democrats ignore the rule of law by abridging long established constitutional protections. Worse, they fail at their stated goal of helping to reduce domestic violence,” said Representative Sampson. “You cannot claim to help one group of victims by creating another group of victims. We have come forward to begin a responsible dialogue with the goal of sound policy improvements. I hope it is well received.”

The group of legislators expressed their concerns that 650 and 6848 would violate citizens’ rights to self-protection and legal due process.

Representative Dubitsky (R-47), an attorney by trade, pointed out that the Governor’s Bill 6848 violates the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

“If an abused woman has a firearm to protect herself from her violent estranged partner, do we really want to give the abuser an opportunity to have her protective firearm taken from her without due process?” Representative Dubitsky asked. “If he files for a temporary restraining order, she should be able to appear before a judge to explain why leaving her defenseless would be wrong before any action is taken.”