U.S. v. Rahimi: Landmark Decision to Protect Child Safety in Custody Cases with Domestic Violence Allegations

The Supreme Court’s recent landmark decision in U.S. v. Rahimi upholding gun control laws is pivotal for Family Law CASA. Discover how this ruling protects children involved in custody cases linked to domestic violence.


Domestic violence is the second leading cause of firearm deaths among children aged 12 and younger (Battered Women’s Justice Project). Last year, Family Law CASA provided free legal advocacy services to over 180 children, with approximately 90% of these cases involving allegations of domestic or intimate partner violence (2023 Impact Report). Given these troubling figures, Family Law CASA is grateful that the Supreme Court upheld a critical gun control law that protects the well-being of domestic violence survivors and their children across the United States.


The Supreme Court’s 8-1 recent landmark decision to uphold a critical gun control law has been celebrated by domestic violence experts and advocates. The ruling in U.S. v. Rahimi confirms that individuals with domestic violence protection orders can be barred from accessing firearms, ensuring vital safety for survivors. Chief Justice Roberts noted that this restriction aligns with the Second Amendment, emphasizing the importance of preventing those who pose a credible threat from misusing weapons. (SCOTUS Blog).

“Protection orders are critical for keeping domestic violence survivors safe, especially children,” commented Deidre McCormack Martin, Family Law CASA Executive Director. “By upholding the restriction on firearm access for perpetrators, we ensure these protective measures stay strong, preventing further harm and keeping vulnerable children out of danger.”


In cases like U.S. v. Rahimi, where the Supreme Court’s decision impacts the enforcement or interpretation of laws related to domestic violence and protective orders, it directly influences how Family Law CASA operates. Specifically, when protection orders are issued and upheld as valid and enforceable by such rulings, CASA is able to advocate more effectively for measures that protect survivors of domestic violence and prioritize the safety of children in custody cases linked to domestic violence protection orders. Thus, the Supreme Court’s rulings can significantly shape the legal environment within which Family Law CASA functions, influencing our ability to make recommendations which limit children’s exposure to domestic violence.

Unfortunately, custody cases involving allegations of domestic violence are not an uncommon occurrence at Family Law CASA. Between July and December 2023, Family Law CASA served 132 children in cases appointed to us. More than 86% of the children were 13 years old or younger which is scary considering that 2023 Law Enforcement Reports show that 31% of gun deaths among children under 13 are linked to domestic violence (BWJP). This data underpins the essential role Family Law CASA plays in our community and illustrates the potential risks if the Supreme Court had ruled differently.


Family Law CASA remains committed to advocating for the safety and well-being of children and survivors of domestic violence, ensuring that the Court receives the necessary to help children grow and thrive across King County.

Interested in making a difference in children’s lives affected by domestic violence? Become a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) today and help ensure their safety and well-being. Visit our volunteer page to learn more and get involved.