May 11, 2021
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Justice Thomas says ex-West Point cadet should be able to sue over alleged rape


The Supreme Court declined Monday to listen to the attraction of a former West Level cadet who stated she was raped on the academy, however Justice Clarence Thomas stated the court docket ought to have taken the case to right a long time of injustices.

The lady, recognized in court docket papers solely as Jane Doe, sued two senior officers who had been West Level directors, arguing that the U.S. Army Academy’s sexual assault insurance policies had been insufficient, failing to guard college students from sexual violence. She stated a fellow cadet raped her once they went strolling late one night time in 2010 throughout her second 12 months at West Level.

However lower courts threw her case out, citing a 1950 Supreme Courtroom choice that stated army personnel can not sue for accidents “incident to” their army service, though the federal legislation specifying when the federal authorities will be sued carves out damage claims arising out of “fight actions” in wartime.

Thomas said Monday that the 71-year-old case, referred to as Feres v United States, was wrongly determined. Jane Doe “may have introduced these identical claims had she been a civilian contractor employed by West Level as an alternative of a scholar.”

Due to the sooner choice, “if two Pentagon workers, one civilian and one a service member, are hit by a bus within the Pentagon parking zone and sue, it could be that solely the civilian would have an opportunity to litigate his claims on the deserves,” he stated.

Through the seven a long time for the reason that Feres case was determined, different members of the court docket have criticized it, together with Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens.

A gaggle of legislation professors, together with Laurence Tribe at Harvard and Steve Vladeck on the College of Texas at Austin, had urged the court docket to take the most recent case.

“On the time of her rape, Ms. Doe was not a soldier engaged in fight or on base; she was, in reality, not but even obliged to enter into army service,” they stated. “Nor was Ms. Doe doing something characteristically ‘army.’ The one factor connecting Ms. Doe’s rape to army service was her enrollment at West Level. But underneath Feres, that alone was sufficient to make her rape incident to army service.”



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