THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BE A PARENT


U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

Our legal minds will put the cites below to good use. Please feel free to share them with your attorney. For future reference, these are being added to the ACFC legal cites page. – ACFC Loss of First Amendment Freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.

Though First Amendment rights are not absolute, they may be curtailed only by interests of vital importance, the burden of proving which rests on the government. Elrod v. Burns, 96 S.Ct. 2673; 427 U.S. 347, (1976).

The United States Supreme Court noted that:

a parent’s right to “the companionship, care, custody and management of his or her children” is an interest “far more precious” than any property right. May v. Anderson, 345 U.S. 528, 533; 73 S.Ct. 840, 843, (1952).

The Court (U.S. Supreme Court) stressed:

“the parent-child relationship is an important interest that undeniably warrants deference and, absent a powerful countervailing interest, protection.”

A parent’s interest in the companionship, care, custody and management of his or her children rises to a constitutionally secured right, given the centrality of family life as the focus for personal meaning and responsibility. Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651; 92 S.Ct. 1208, (1972)

The U.S. Supreme Court implied that “a (once) married father who is separated or divorced from a mother and is no longer living with his child” could not constitutionally be treated differently from a currently married father living with his child. Quilloin v. Walcott, 98 S.Ct. 549; 434 U.S. 246, 255-56, (1978)

Law and court procedures that are “fair on their faces” but administered “with an evil eye or a heavy hand” was discriminatory and violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, (1886)

The Constitution also protects “the individual interest in avoiding disclosure of personal matters.” Federal Courts (and State Courts), under Griswold can protect, under the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” phrase of the Declaration of Independence, the right of a man to enjoy the mutual care, company, love and affection of his children, and this cannot be taken away from him without due process of law.

There is a family right to privacy which the state cannot invade or it becomes actionable for civil rights damages. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, (1965)

Parent’s right to custody of child is a right encompassed within protection of this amendment which may not be interfered with under guise of protection public interest by legislative action which is arbitrary or without reasonable relation to some purpose within competency of state to effect. Reynold v. Baby Fold, Inc., 369 NE 2d 858; 68 Ill 2d 419, appeal dismissed 98 S.Ct. 1598, 435 U.S. 963, Il, (1977)

Parent’s rights have been recognized as being “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free man.” Meyer v. Nebraska, 92 S.Ct. 1208, (1972)

Reality of private biases and possible injury they might inflict were impermissible considerations under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Palmore v. Sidoti, 104 S.Ct. 1879; 466 U.S. 429

Legislative classifications which distributes benefits and burdens on the basis of gender carry the inherent risk of reinforcing stereotypes about the proper place of women and their need for special protection; thus, even statutes purportedly designed to compensate for and ameliorate the effects of past discrimination against women must be carefully tailored… the state cannot be permitted to classify on the basis of sex. Orr v. Orr, 99 S.Ct. 1102; 4340 U.S. 268 (1979)

The United States Supreme Court held that the “old notion” that “generally it is the man’s primary responsibility to provide a home and its essentials” can no longer justify a statute that discriminates on the basis of sex. No longer is the female destined solely for the homes and the rearing of the family, and only the male for the marketplace and the world of ideas. Stanton v. Stanton, 421 U.S. 7, 10; 95 S.Ct. 1373, 1376 (1975)

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that severance in the parent-child relationship caused by the state occur only with rigorous protections for individual liberty interests at stake.Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 746 F 2d 1205: U.S. Ct. App. 7th Cir. WI., (1984)

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