Gun Rights and Domestic Violence Protection Orders: The Rahimi Case
Join Dr. Deirdre Bowen, professor of law and director of the Family Law Center, and her colleagues for an insightful analysis of the case.
On Nov. 7, 2023, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a significant case, United States v. Rahimi. At issue is whether a federal law that bans individuals subject to domestic violence protection orders from possessing firearms violates the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. The Court’s decision, due next year, may have potentially life-threatening consequences for survivors of domestic violence and their families.
Nov. 6 at 6 p.m.
This is a hybrid event:
- In person: Sullivan Hall Room C1
About the speakers
Deirdre Bowen, JD, PhD is the Moccasin Lake Foundation Endowed Chair in Family Law, where she is a nationally recognized expert in three areas: family law, domestic violence, and affirmative action. Her work has been widely published and cited. She founded and directs the Family Law Center which provides advocacy, direct representation, and research in domestic violence, family law, and reproductive justice. In addition, Professor Bowen teaches Family Law, Domestic Violence Law, Reproductive Justice, Comparative Family Law and Constitutional Law. She also is a principal investigator conducting research on firearms and domestic violence with her colleagues at the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center Firearm Injury Prevention Research and Policy Group. She graduated cum laude and with honors from Boston University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Philosophy. She then attended the University of Buffalo School of Law, graduating cum laude. After four years of practicing law, Dr. Bowen pursued her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington, where she was awarded the Norman S. Hayner prize for Criminology. Her research on families, the legal system, and affirmative action has been published in the top law journals in the country.
Julie M Kafka, MPH, PhD is a Postdoctoral Scholar working with the Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program at the University of Washington. Dr. Kafka studies applied solutions to address intimate partner violence (IPV). She received her MPH and her PhD from the Department of Health Behavior at the Gillings School for Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she was awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award for her project examining the link between IPV, firearms, and suicide mortality. Dr. Kafka’s interdisciplinary research seeks to improve the lives of everyone touched by IPV.
Alice M. Ellyson, MS, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine at the University of Washington (UW). She is also a faculty investigator in the Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program (FIPRP) at UW, and a faculty investigator in the Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute. Dr. Ellyson received her MS and PhD in economics from the Department of Economics in the College of Social Sciences & Public Policy at Florida State University, where she was trained in applied microeconomics, econometrics, health economics, and law and public policy. After her graduate studies, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics Institute at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on how policies, incentives, and infrastructure shape individual health and well-being. She primarily investigates gender-based violence and health risk behaviors like alcohol and firearm use among youth and young adults. Dr. Ellyson's interdisciplinary research lies at the intersection of health, incentives and decision-making, the law, and economic, social, and public policies.
Sgt. Jordan Ferguson (Ret.), Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition. Jordan Ferguson has been with the Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition since January 2023. Before that, he was the sergeant for the Spokane Police Department Domestic Violence Unit since 2016. He was with SPD since 1999. Before SPD, he worked as a law enforcement officer with three other agencies. He has been a Field Training Officer, Polygraph Examiner, and Background Investigator. He teaches a class, Background Investigations for Law Enforcement, to agencies nationwide. He has also been a guest lecturer at Eastern Washington University and Washington State University. He has provided training to several law enforcement agencies on strangulation training and the lethality assessment program. He has been an instructor with the Battered Women’s Justice Project, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Alliance for Gun Responsibility on the intersection of Firearms and DV. He completed his M.A. in Criminal Justice at Washington State University with an emphasis on neuroscience and the effect fear has on humans. “My responsibilities in the Domestic Violence Unit were some of the most demanding I have experienced in my 37-year career. They were also the most rewarding,” he says.