Note

Reconsidering Feres: A New Framework for Military Sexual Assault

Reconsidering Feres: A New Framework for Military Sexual Assault

Sarah Ann Purtill

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Since the Supreme Court’s 1950 decision in Feres, military servicemembers have been largely unable to recover for their injuries under the Federal Tort Claims Act. This Note proposes that courts read an exception to Feres where the Department of Defense has violated its own mandatory rules and regulations. This reading is consistent with the Court’s precedents; resolves several enduring doctrinal ambiguities; and creates a pathway to justice for victims of military sexual assault.

J.D. 2022, Yale Law School; B.A. 2015, University of Connecticut. I am deeply indebted to my colleagues from the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School, particularly Michael Wishnie, Renée Burbank, Dana Montalto, Annie Guilyard, Kathryn Pogin, Sonora Taffa, and Angela “Lulu” Zhang, for their tireless advocacy and early work on this project. Thank you, Jane Doe, for entrusting us with your story. Finally, I am grateful to the editors of the Yale Law & Policy Review, particularly Steffen Seitz, Kyle Bright, Charles Jetty, and Aisha Keown-Lang, for their thoughtful feedback and endless patience.

Cite this article:

Sarah Ann Purtill

, Note, 

Reconsidering Feres: A New Framework for Military Sexual Assault

, 40 Yale L. & Pol'y Rev. 615 (2022).