Monday, December 03, 2012

Supreme court child custody case

The federal courts hate child custody cases, and will do anything to get rid of them. The US Supreme Court is going to hear Chafin v. Chafin tomorrow:
Issue: Whether an appeal of a district court's ruling on a Petition for Return of Children pursuant to the International Child Abduction Remedies Act and the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction becomes moot after the child at issue returns to his or her country of habitual residence, as in the Eleventh Circuit's Bekier v. Bekier case, leaving the United States court system lacking any power or jurisdiction to affect any further issue in the matter, or should the United States courts retain power over their own appellate process, as in the Fourth Circuit's Fawcett v. McRoberts case, and maintain jurisdiction throughout the appellate process giving the concerned party an opportunity for proper redress.
So this is a child custody case, but the court will probably just rule on obscure jurisdictional issues. All of the news media attention is the same-sex marriage cases that the court is expected to hear, with an announcement probably today. I happen to think that child custody is a lot more important than same-sex marriage, but the liberal LGBT lobby has somehow convinced the media that they have a grievance.

1 comment:

Dan said...

The only issue is whether federal appeals courts can still rule on a case once a child has been returned to their "countr[ies] of habitual residence" by a federal trial court.

As far as I can tell, the only practical significance of this issue is that it would shelter rulings of federal trial court judges. This is bad if you think federal trial court judges will pervasively discriminate against men in determining if it's appropriate to order a child out of the country.

Interestingly, the federal government is arguing that federal appellate courts should be able to overrule federal trial judges, so I don't see much politics in this issue (at least, if we assume that the federal government is interested in supporting discrimination against men).

This is pretty off-the-cuff analysis though, so I could be wrong.