Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Father’s interest is cognizable and substantial

There is a visitation case that might be headed for the US Supreme Court. It would not help me, but I will post more about it if it happens. Meanwhile, here are some pro-father quotes from briefs:
See Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246, 247–48 (1978) (“[A] father’s interest in the ‘companionship, care, custody, and management’ of his children is ‘cognizable and substantial,’ . . . and, on the other hand, . . . the State’s interest in caring for the children is ‘de minimis’ if the father is in fact a fit parent.”) (quoting Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651–52, 657–58 (1972)); see also Lehr v. Robertson, 463 U.S. 248, 262 (1983) (“The significance of the biological connection is that it offers the natural father an opportunity that no other male possesses to develop a relationship with his offspring. If he grasps that opportunity and accepts some measure of responsibility for the child’s future, he may enjoy the blessings of the parent–child relationship and make uniquely valuable contributions to the child’s development.”). Indeed, respondents are a paradigmatic example of the family unit that this Court has sought to protect from uninvited, unwarranted state intervention. See Quilloin, 434 U.S. at 255 (“We have little doubt that the Due Process Clause would be offended ‘[i]f a State were to attempt to force the breakup of a natural family, over the objections of the parents and their children, without some show-ing of unfitness and for the sole reason that to do so was thought to be in the children’s best interest.’ ... But this is not a case in which the unwed father at any time had, or sought, actual or legal custody of his child.”) (quoting Smith v. Organization of Foster Families for Equality & Reform, 431 U.S. 816, 862–63 (1977) (Stewart, J., concurring in the judgment)).
Someday, the court may have to take these platitudes seriously.

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