Pagan Divorce: Child Custody - Federal Decisions
Article ID: 2165
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 7,858
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Posted: July 26th. 1998
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Child Custody - Supreme Court Rulings citing the 14th Amendment
Disclaimer: The following case abstracts do not constitute legal advice. Nor do they serve as a substitute for legal advice. These abstracts are for informational and educational use in conjunction with the legal services of an attorney admitted to the Bar of your state.
Even when blood relationships are strained, parents retain vital interest in preventing irretrievable destruction of their family life; if anything, persons faced with forced dissolution of their parental rights have more critical need for procedural protections The Supreme Court noted its "historical recognition that freedom of personal choice in matters of family life is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment."-SANTOSKY V. KRAMER, 102 S.Ct. 1388; 455 U.S. 745, (1982).
In applying the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment, the United States Supreme Court has held that "where certain fundamental rights are involved... regulation limiting these rights may be justified only by a 'compelling state interest' ...and ...legislative enactments must be narrowly drawn to express only the legitimate state interests at stake. State interference with a fundamental right must by justified by a "compelling state interest."-ROE V. WADE. 410 U.S. 113, 155 ; 93 S.Ct. 705; 35 L Ed 2d 147, (1973)
While this court has not attempted to define with exactness the liberty thus guaranteed [by the Fourteenth Amendment] ... Without doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.-MEYER V. NEBRASKA, 262 U.S. 390, 399 (1923).
In addition to recognizing as a fundamental liberty interest the right of parents to raise their children, the Supreme Court has also established that the Constitution's guarantee to fundamental privacy rights also embodies a fundamental right to parental autonomy in child rearing. The Court acknowledged a "private realm of family life which the state cannot enter."-PRINCE V. MASSACHUSETTS, 3210 U.S. 158, 166 (1944); MOORE V. CITY OF EAST CLEVELAND, 431-U.S. 494 (1977).
The Supreme Court has clearly established that to constitute a compelling interest, state interference with a parent's right to raise his or her child must be for the purpose of protecting the child's health or welfare.-WISCONSIN v. YODER, 406 U.S. 205, 230 (1972).
Other Pages in our Child Custody and the Modern Pagan Series:
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