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Feminism, Fatherhood, and the Lance Armstrong Fallacy

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on June 30, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Feminism, Fatherhood, and the Lance Armstrong Fallacy
Paul Coughlin
Author of “No More Christian Nice Guy”

My book No More Christian Nice Guy alerted America that boys are falling behind in school and that this problem is a silent epidemic. Little did I know that within a few months after its release how some of the largest names in media would pick up this problem and run with it. But what I did predict was the radical feminist response, and how they would attempt to put this problem into “perspective.”

Soon after Newsweek’s recent cover story about the boy crisis in education came Salon.com’s article “The campus crusade for guys.” Then Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, weighed in with “Biology’s Revenge.” The Weekly Standard had its say as well. Among the most troubling statistics: 58 percent of first-year college students are female. Because male students are more likely to drop out, their share will shrink to 40 percent by graduation.

One of the main reasons for this crisis, wrote Newsweek, is the lack of father figures in the lives of too many drop-out boys. “An adolescent boy without a father figure is like an explorer without a map.” Donald Miller, author of the bestselling Blue Like Jazz, writes about his difficult life without a father in his new release To Own a Dragon. He says the percentage of dropouts, youth suicides, homeless teenagers and young men in prison who come from fatherless homes is staggering. “It makes you wonder if just having a Dad around, just by being there, reading the paper in the morning and smoking cigars at poker with his friends and having him read to us a story at night, you and I were supposed to understand something, some idea God in heaven wanted to offer us as a gift.”

Feminist Professor Peggy Drexler, author of the anti-father Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men, claims that no such gift exists. Soon after Newsweek’s article hit, she wrote, “I wonder what mothers like Lance Armstrong’s make of such statements” that claim boys without a father figure are lost. “The assumption that ‘masculine’ qualities can be imparted only by men undermines the success of millions of mothers who are fully capable of raising thriving, emotionally healthy, masculine sons without a man around. Linda Armstrong raised Lance on her own and did quite well.”

This is where Drexler, like the body of her work, hyper-extends and hyper-ventilates. I used to race bicycles, shaved legs and all, and I still might in the future if my schedule ever slows down (not likely). I’ve won a few as a low-level racer, yet my best race was when I took third. There’s something about a road bike that makes me feel alive.

So I keep an eye on Lance and I’m amazed by his abilities, especially his cadence and lightness on the pedals as he flies up mountains. I’m also familiar with his background, apparently more so than Drexler. Young Lance Armstrong was not “emotionally healthy.” He was, by his own admission, a lost and angry young jerk. Two trainers, Chris Charmichael and Johann Bruyneel, took him under their paternal wing and coaxed stellar talent out of his troubled body and soul. Eddy Merckx, perhaps the greatest cyclist ever, was also a huge influence in Lance’s life. When others abandoned him professionally, his agent Ken Stapleton stayed by his side.

And it was another racer who, seeing young, brash, angry Lance in a field sprint with him near the finish line, who taught Lance a lesson in humility that he never forgot. The well-respected racer hit his brakes because he did not want to appear on the same podium as troubled Armstrong. This man gave up money and fame to distance himself from a young racer whose emotional immaturity and reckless disregard earned him a growing list of detractors who rightly complained that Armstrong did not know how to win well or live well.

He was not always the good ambassador of one of the world’s most incredible sports that he is today. It took the intervention of some big souls to make that happen.

Notice the gender of all these influential people, the ones Drexler ignores?

I’m not going to commit a similar Drexler fallacy and undermine the love and direction of women in general and Linda Armstrong in particular. One should not return bigotry for bigotry. I’m saying all this to put the real life of Armstrong and men in general in perspective. A mother’s love and nurturing is a gift from God. Ask any man who didn’t get it and they’ll tell you. The same is true for the unique characteristic of men. Though Drexler ignores them, Armstrong gives these pivotal men plenty of credit.

And of course a man’s unique presence, like a woman’s, doesn’t just bless boys either. Wrote Toni Morrison, Nobel-prize winning novelist. “I am a great writer because when I was a little girl and walked into a room where my father was sitting, his eyes would light up. That is why I am a great writer. That is why. There isn’t any other reason.”

Drexler is right to point out the benefits of good mothering, which is an important encouragement in the lives of so many women, especially heroic single mothers. But she uses this vital role to wage war against another vital role: the blessings of paternity. Armstrong is fortunate that he grew up during a time when Drexler’s views were contained to the radical fringe of college campuses instead of in best-selling books. Today’s troubled boys are not so fortunate. Those who take the Good Guy Rebellion seriously will correct her kind of anti-male bias wherever they find it.


Paul Coughlin is the author of No More Christian Nice Guy and a soon to be released companion Study Guide. He and his wife Sandy are the authors of Married But Not Engaged: Why Men Check Out and What You Can Do to Create The Intimacy You Desire, due out in July from Bethany House. Visit him online at Christianniceguy.com
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The Government, Divorce, and the War on Fatherhood

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Restraining Orders on June 30, 2009 at 7:32 pm
by Todd M. Aglialoro
7/31/08
Stephen Baskerville, Cumberland House, 352 pages, $24.95

For whatever reason, social conservatives focus considerable political effort on abortion, gay rights, and obscenity, but pay scant attention to divorce. Perhaps they think that ship has sailed for good, whereas other battles still offer winnable stakes. Perhaps too few look at our “family courts” and see a culture war; or perhaps too many lack the conviction to fight it. And when conservatives do target divorce, rather than lobby for legal reform of the “no-fault” divorce system, or changes in the way courts award custody or child support, they have preferred to employ the tools of ministry, treating divorce primarily as a moral problem rather than a political one; its attendant social evils as a consequence of sin, not of bad policy.

This is a grave mistake, says Stephen Baskerville, professor of government at Patrick Henry College and president of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children. In his startling new book, Taken into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family, he asserts not only that reforming America’s divorce paradigm deserves a far higher priority among conservative culture warriors, but that our divorce courts today are agents of radical sexual ideology, occasions of shameless graft, and instruments for the expansion of governmental power at the expense of Constitutional rights.

As unique as it is disturbing, Taken into Custody strikes notes from all over the conservative/libertarian spectrum to compose a sort of hybrid thesis: that big government and anti-father feminism have teamed up to promote divorce, tear apart families, pauperize and criminalize fathers, and swell the power of the state.

The marriage contract today is a legal anomaly, the author muses, in that our government directs nearly all its efforts and resources toward dissolving rather than — as with other contracts — enforcing it. In what he calls the “totalitarian regime of involuntary divorce,” unfaithful parties are not punished, and faithful ones not rewarded. In a perverse twist, it is the faithful party — the one seeking to hold the marriage together — on whom the guilt and suspicion are cast.

With the advent of no-fault divorce (before which divorces required cause, and fault could be assigned proportionately), “the fault that was ostensibly thrown out the front door of divorce proceedings re-entered through the back.” Working from the “therapeutic” (read: morally relativistic) premise that both parties must be equally to blame — which is to say, not at all to blame — for a marriage’s failure, divorce courts begin with an “automatic outcome” and then set out to find or manufacture evidence to support it.

How is that evidence obtained? Via “extensive and intrusive governmental instruments whose sole purpose is intervention in families.” Having quit the marriage-enforcement business, government has turned the full weight of its resources and coercive powers to the divorce-enforcement business.

The main area in which government brings to bear those resources, and the red thread of Baskerville’s book, is in assigning custody of children. With two-thirds of divorces initiated by women — thereby immediately casting the man as the “defendant” — and with courts overwhelmingly biased toward mothers already (in a paradoxical inversion of feminist doctrine, women are held both to be and not to be more naturally suited to nurturing and child-rearing), in practice the custody process typically amounts to a “power grab” by which fathers are forcibly separated from their children. The children, for whose benefit the process ostensibly exists, are then used as leverage by the prying state and as trophies by the custodial mother.

The fathers may have committed no crime; they may in fact be more dedicated than the mother to the marital stability that’s in their kids’ best interest, but no matter. The mother is rewarded for courageously having taken the “initiative” in the divorce — for having invited, that is, the power of the state to arbitrate in the most private areas of their family life. Maneuvered by skilled lawyers, abetted by social-science “experts” steeped in anti-father ideology and myths, and followed by media more interested in soap-opera storylines than justice, she can by the very hint of a suggestion of an accusation — of physical or sexual abuse, for example, or mental or emotional cruelty — rob a man of his marriage, his children, and his livelihood.

This is not the only disquieting contention Baskerville makes, but it is the central one: that right under our noses, massive systematic injustice is being visited upon fathers, threatening the very fundaments of family, society, and democracy. This thesis seems at first incredible, and initially I couldn’t decide whether it’s because the author doesn’t convince, or because I didn’t want to be convinced.

It’s not a reviewer’s placeto connect every dot of an author’s argument — especially for a book that, despite its modest size, is richly presented, containing nearly a thousand end notes and not a single uneconomical sentence. But I do want to touch on a few satellite points that attend Baskerville’s thesis, by way of giving a well-rounded representation of it.

This ongoing travesty is rooted in two main causes, which build upon each other: a big-bucks “entitlement industry” that grows ever-larger and more voracious, and the influence of radical feminist ideas and power.

According to Baskerville, the business of divorce is part of a bloated bureaucracy, a $100 billion industry in which judges “dispense patronage” to psychological “experts,” lawyers feed on the bank accounts of divorcing couples, social workers wet their beaks in welfare cash, and courts send out bounty hunters to bleed dry blameless but unlucky dads. And, naturally, the more each party prospers, the greater the demand for even bigger money: more divorces requiring more expert witnesses to demonize more fathers, and more intrusive measures to coerce their behaviors and attach their wages; more taxpayer money to fund more programs for counseling and sheltering more unhappy wives (in what he calls “one-stop divorce shops”); more state agencies (the “child protection racket”) to insert governmental authority ever more deeply into the sacrosanct privacy of the family.

So follow the money we certainly can. But Baskerville believes that we might never have gotten to this point without the influence of an anti-father strain of feminism, representing a “degeneration of feminist idealism” that first aims to make political what is personal (by casting conflict between the sexes in the historical context of political oppression and the movement for liberation) and, secondly, is motivated by “a specific animus against men and marriage.”

True, as regards divorce and child custody, there is some dissension within radical feminist ranks. Some would prefer to see the man left with the children, burdened with domestic chores, while the woman goes off free to pursue whatever empowers her. Others likewise fear that winning the battle for power in the household only sets back the fight for power in society. But the majority has happily accepted and run with what seems to be a paradox: on the one hand, rejecting outright any notion that a woman “belongs” at home with her children, but in divorce court asserting that children belong at home with their mother. Similarly, one notes the paradox in feminists’ claimed desire to have more domestically “involved” fathers, and their sense of entitlement to be the “center of their kids’ universes.”

Why do they smooth over the contradiction? Most of all, power, says Baskerville. By scooping up the children and the money, divorcées scores a tag-team victory — along with the courts and their experts, trained in feminist therapeutic precepts — over men. The current divorce paradigm also dovetails nicely, he says, with other planks in their ideological platform:

  • Deep-rooted antagonism toward men and fatherhood. As Dale O’Leary and others have shown, anger and resentment toward their own fathers is a common thread among lesbians and radical feminists.
  • Long-term replacement of the family with a system of government caretakers. “It takes a village,” after all.
  • Conscription of children as fellow soldiers in the battle against patriarchal tradition. Hence the modern movement naming “children’s rights” as a corollary to women’s rights.
  • The separation of the political interests of men and women. This is essential to preserving the model of ongoing political conflict between the sexes.

The larger society allows this to occur, and politicians enable it, Baskerville says, because of a carefully constructed set of myths that steers our sympathies toward the mother and casts suspicion on the dad. “He must have done something,” we say to ourselves. We all know the stereotypical stories of the abusive or “deadbeat” dad.

Baskerville dismisses the bulk of these notions as pure myth, asserting that most women seek divorces for reasons related to emotional fulfillment, not physical abuse, either of herself or their children. (He cites statistics here showing, among other things, that children are most likely to be abused by a single mother or by her live-in boyfriend; tragically, then, courts are in fact removing kids from their natural protectors and abetting the real predators.) There already exist laws to punish violent criminals, but these laws — and the due process that goes with them — are being ignored in favor of the secretive, unjust, and cruelly punitive family courts, which work with politicians, agenda-driven experts, and the media to “foment hysteria” about a non-existent epidemic of child and spousal abuse, and then prosecute fathers — not with criminal statutes but restraining orders, onerous child support, and character assassination.

Similarly, the divorce industry enjoys the full cooperation of politicians and the media in stalking “deadbeat dads.” But he too is a “mythical creature,” Baskerville claims, “created by those paid to pursue him.” The “national demonology” of the deadbeat is a useful fable, providing spotlight-seeking pols with a “risk-free target” for tough-sounding talk and filling state coffers with federal money (after all, they need programs to track down and punish all those wicked dads, and propaganda campaigns to educate the public about their wickedness). In other words, they get a cut of the booty — an “entitlement coerced from the involuntarily divorced.”

Baskerville pointedly concedes that there must be some true “deadbeats,” just as there are some true abusers. But in both cases the numbers are small. Most dads pay up, and those who can’t have a good reason (he notes that they tend to be the type of unfortunate fellows whom the government would ordinarily be spending money to help, not impoverish — alcoholics and drug addicts, the homeless and mentally ill, and those with minimal education and job skills). And millions of others eke out a living in the fringes: fighting to stay out of jail while they watch their reputations and credit ratings crater.

The great irony here, Baskerville says, is that “child support” is advertised as a way to make fathers “be responsible” for their children, yet it is coerced from them only after they have been forbidden by the state to exercise that responsibility in the ordinary way: by being fathers — protecting and providing for their sons and daughters on a daily basis in a common household. Or as Baskerville puts it, child support is about “making fathers finance the filching of their kids.”

In addition to lamenting their inattentionto divorce reform, Baskerville specially indicts social conservatives for unwittingly perpetuating such myths. Making the “sentimental assumption” that male promiscuity is the nub of all fault, fatherhood groups and religious-right leaders focus the large part of their efforts on exhorting fathers to live up to their spousal and parental responsibilities — ignoring the plight of fathers whom the courts have forbidden to do just that, and implicitly reinforcing the common misconception that most divorce stems from the husband’s sins, and most fatherlessness from paternal cowardice.

Small wonder, then, that many feminist groups, “cynically invoking the need for fathers,” lend their support to organizations and initiatives that on the surface promote paternal involvement, but which in reality only serve the system that keeps dads from their kids. Baskerville calculates, for example, that government and faith-based “fatherhood” programs actually direct a majority of their resources toward the child-support collection industry. They don’t want his presence; they just want his money.

Baskerville winds up his book — and locates his thesis — deep in the heart of a quasi-totalitarian state, by offering an eccentric but thought-provoking take on the now-settled fact that children of divorce exhibit more problem behaviors than those from intact families:

The family becomes in effect government-occupied territory. The children experience family life not as a nursery of cooperation, compromise, trust and forgiveness. Instead they receive a firsthand lesson in tyranny. Backed by the courts, police, and jails, the custodial parent now “calls the shots” alone — issuing orders and instructions to the non-custodial parent, undermining his authority with the children, dictating the terms of his access to them, talking about him contemptuously and condescendingly . . . all with the blessing and backing of the government.

Having thus become “wards of a police state,” he says, forced to live in and be formed by an environment of gross injustice, how can children not develop a “chronic disrespect for authority”?

In the occupied family of forced divorce, parental and political authority are unnaturally intertwined, a process that results in both kinds of authority being simultaneously abused and weakened. Discipline and civility are the first casualties, since it is difficult to teach children to say “please” and “thank you” when we simply issue orders (or court orders) to Dad. . . .

This peaks in adolescence, when natural rebelliousness coincides with the realization of how one or both parents have abused their authority by setting their own desires above the needs of their children. . . . It is this adversarial relationship imposed on the children towards virtually every form of authority that I believe best accounts for the horrifying statistics on juvenile emotional and social problems that correlate more strongly with divorce and single-parent households than any other factor.

Baskerville stresses that change won’t come through the efforts of government or non-profits, but by militant popular activism: nothing less than a “rebellion” that radically re-establishes the family as the primary rival to government power, not a building block for it. Only then can we hope to achieve particular strategic goals: legal limits on no-fault divorce, based on a judicial re-commitment to enforcing the marital contract rather than shredding it; a preference for awarding joint custody, which would both “dismantle” the custody/child-support industry and likely reduce the divorce rate (since it removes the motive for one spouse to wield custody as an instrument of power); and greater legal protection for parents’ rights, which, Baskerville surmises, might require nothing less than a Constitutional amendment.

That last prescription underscores the gravity and urgency that permeate Taken into Custody. Indeed, it sometimes crosses the line into stridency, such as in the author’s comparisons of family courts to Nazis, Stalin, the Eastern Bloc, the Weimar Republic; his references to Orwell, Marxism, “human sacrifice,” and so forth. But Baskerville himself seems aware of the gap between his claims and popular understanding — even the understanding of pro-family, limited-government conservatives who are usually sharp about such things. He realizes that the evidence he has marshaled is either flat “mistaken,” or else it “amounts to a reign of terror.”

If Baskerville is mistaken, then he may just need a little time off, somewhere out of the sun. But if he’s correct — and his book compels — then we have been blithely sitting on the sidelines of a critical civil rights struggle; perhaps the most critical of all.


Todd M. Aglialoro is the editor for Sophia Institute Press and a columnist and blogger for
www.InsideCatholic.com.

FATHERING IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Feminism, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation on June 30, 2009 at 7:05 pm

FATHERING IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

Louise B. Silverstein 1

1 Yeshiva University

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Louise B. Silverstein, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461.

Copyright 1996 Human Sciences Press

ABSTRACT

Feminist theory has not yet addressed the ways in which the ideology of fatherhood has contributed to interlocking inequalities for women in both the workplace and family life. This paper is an effort to inject a feminist voice into the redefinition of fathering, which I see as essential both to the achievement of equality for women and to the reconstruction of the masculine gender role. I begin by describing how our unconscious gender ideology pressures all families to become traditional patriarchal families. I address feminist concerns about the dangers of over-valuing fathers’contributions to child development. I review the research evidence on whether fathers have the same potential for nurturing as mothers, and examine gay fathering in particular. Finally, I suggest that redefining fathering to emphasize nurturing as well as providing will place attachment and connection at the center of gender socialization for men. Masculinity would then become much less oppressive for men as well as for women.

First draft received: June 6, 1995 Final draft received: August 22, 1995

via Wiley InterScience :: JOURNALS :: Psychology of Women Quarterly.

The Sleeper Effect – The Price Children Pay for Divorce

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Freedom, Homeschool, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, state crimes on June 30, 2009 at 12:30 am

Newsweek 10/2/00 By John Leo

The sleeper effect:  A new book ups the price that children pay for divorce

A startling thought is occurring to the folks who study the impact of divorce on children: A good divorce may be much worse than a bad marriage.

The conventional wisdom that followed the rapid spread of divorce in the 1970s and 1980sthat children are resilient and usually overcome the shock of divorcehas been mugged by a brutal gang of facts. Some children cope well and thrive. But taken as a group, the children of divorce are at serious risk.

For a decade now, the evidence has piled up. Children of divorce are more depressed and aggressive toward parents and teachers than are youngsters from intact families. They are much more likely to develop mental and emotional disorders later in life. They start sexual activity earlier, have more children out of wedlock, are less likely to marry, and if they do marry, are more likely to divorce. They are likelier to abuse drugs, turn to crime, and commit suicide. One study shows that the children of divorce, when they grow up, are significantly less likely than adults from intact families to think they ought to help support their parents in old age. This is an indication that resentments do not fade and that the divorce boom could create disruption between generations. A report in June from the Heritage Foundation began: “American society may have erased the stigma that once accompanied divorce, but it can no longer ignore its massive effects.”

Now this discussion among researchers and policy experts is becoming part of the national conversation thanks to Judith Wallerstein and her important new book, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce. The “unexpected” part is that divorce produces “sleeper effects,” deep and long-term emotional problems that arise only when the children enter early adulthood and begin to confront issues of romance and marriage. The “powerful ghosts” of their parents’ experience rise only in later life, Wallerstein told a seminar in New York City last week.

Sense of dread.

Wallerstein is a psychologist who has been studying 131 children of divorce since 1971, interviewing them intensively at different stages of life. Now these children are ages 28 through 43, and the news about them is not good. Their parents’ divorce hangs like a cloud over their lives. Compared with similar grown children from intact families in the same neighborhood, the children of divorce were more erratic and self-defeating.  Some sought out unreliable partners or dull ones who at least would never leave. Others ran from conflict or avoided relationships entirely. Expecting disaster, they often worked to create it. Some grew up to achieve success in work and romance, Wallerstein says, but even they are filled with a sense of dread and foreboding that it could all col- lapse at any moment, like the intact home they once had.

Wallerstein’s work undercuts the notion that divorce saves children by eliminating the open conflict of parents. She finds that kids generally tune out their parents’ bitter quarrels and aren’t much bothered by them. They don’t much care whether their parents like each other or sleep in different beds. A cordial divorce doesn’t help. The children just need parents to stay together. Wallerstein says that the loss of the powerful mental image of the intact family inflicts the crucial harm. The damage is compounded by the loss of attention from frazzled parents trying to rebuild their lives.

She has her critics. Her sample is small and not necessarily representative, drawn entirely from an upscale neighborhood in Marin County, Calif. But she has reached deeper into the psyche of children of divorce over a longer period of time than any other psychologist, and her fellow researchers seem to be leaning her way. Her most strident critic, sociologist Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University, now acknowledges that divorce has significant long-term negative effects on children. David Blankenhorn, head of the Institute for American Values, calls this a sign of “the shift”a major turnaround in thinking about divorce.

Part of the shift is the growing realization that divorce is more widespread than it needs to be. In their book, A Generation at Risk, researchers Paul Amato and Alan Booth report that 70 percent of American divorces are occurring in “low-conflict” marriages. In the study of some 2,000 married people, just 30 percent of divorcing spouses reported more than two serious quarrels in a month, and only 25 percent said they disagreed “often” or “very often.” So three quarters of divorcing couples don’t say they quarrel often or even disagree much.

Even bad marriages are likely to improve, according to sociologist Linda Waite of the University of Chicago. Analyzing data from the National Survey of Families and Households, Waite found that 86 percent of people who said they were in bad marriages, but who decided to stick it out, said five years later that their marriages had turned around and were now happier. Sixty percent said their marriages were “very happy.” “Bad marriage is nowhere near as permanent a condition as we sometimes assume,” Waite says in her new book, The Case for Marriage. Considering what we now know about the impact of divorce on children, that should give many divorce-minded couples some second thoughts.

Sleeper Effect of Divorce.

Bayh, Davis Introduce Legislation to Promote Healthy Families, Active Fatherhood

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, state crimes, Title Iv-D on June 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm
June 19, 2009

Bayh, Davis Introduce Legislation to Promote Healthy Families, Active Fatherhood

Washington—With one in three children in the United States living apart from their biological fathers, Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) are renewing their efforts to promote healthy families and support American fathers who are trying to earn a livable wage and take a more active role in the lives of their children.

Bayh today introduced his Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2009, a bill cosponsored by then-Senator Barack Obama in the last Congress. Bayh’s bill is co-sponsored by Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AK) and Roland Burris (D-IL).

Davis today introduced companion legislation in the House called the Julia Carson Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2009, in honor of Representative Julia Carson, the late Indianapolis congresswoman who championed fatherhood reform throughout her long career.

“It is a sad and sobering fact that one out of every three kids in America will wake up this Father’s Day without their father present,” Bayh said. “Conceiving a child doesn’t make you a man, but raising one responsibly does. Unfortunately, absentee fathers have become a national epidemic. The result is that millions of American children are more likely to struggle in school and have emotional and behavioral problems.”

“The absence of fathers or a father figure often contributes to negative behavior in children and disrupts the normal pattern of social and emotional development,” Davis said. “In many instances it also limits the child’s ability to have necessary economic resources with which to feel secure.”

In the last 40 years, the number of children without fathers in America has more than quadrupled, from five million in 1960 to more than 24 million today.  Nearly 30 percent of children in fatherless households have not seen their fathers in the past year, and only 40 percent have had contact with their father once or more in the last month.

Studies show that children without fathers in their lives are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They also are more likely to have behavioral problems, to run away from home, and to become teenage parents themselves. The bills offered by Bayh and Davis seek to support fathers trying to do the right thing and take steps to collect child support from non-custodial parents shirking their parental responsibilities.

Bayh added, “Our government spends $100 billion a year to deal with the fallout of absent fathers. The government can’t pass a law to make men good dads, but we can support local programs that specialize in job training, career counseling and financial literacy to help those men who embrace their parental responsibility and are trying to earn a livable wage to do right by their kids. I am glad President Obama is starting a national conversation to draw public attention to the critical role that fathers play in raising responsible, healthy adults.”

The legislation offered by Bayh and Davis will:

  • Fund job training programs and community partnerships to help parents find employment;
  • Fund financial literacy programs and budgeting education, employment services, and mediation and conflict resolution for low-income parents;
  • Ensure that child support payments to families do not count as income and result in loss of food stamps;
  • Restore cuts in federal child support enforcement funding to help state and local governments collect $13 billion in additional payments for single parents;
  • Require states to send 100 percent of all child support payments to the single parent within five years, rather than letting states take a portion of money for administrative costs;
  • Prohibit unfair and unequal treatment of two-parent families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), ensuring the state work participation standard is the same for all families;
  • Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to increase the incentive for full-time work and fulfillment of child support obligations; and,
  • Fund programs designed to protect the families who have been affected by domestic violence.

Senator Bayh and Congressman Davis will attend a White House event today with President Obama to honor America’s fathers and urge men to play more active and constructive roles in their children’s lives.

###

Senator Evan Bayh — Senator for Indiana: News – Press Release.

Parental Alienation Case Law

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Freedom, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Sociopath on June 29, 2009 at 8:39 pm

PA has already passed the Frye Test, the SCIENTIFICALLY ACCPETED standard used in Federal and State Courts for the admissability of scientific evidence. Case Law will be continually updated as more and more children are rescued from the personality-disordered, hateful kidnappers otherwise known as Custodial Parents.

The Frye standard is a legal precedent in the United States regarding the admissibility of scientific examinations or experiments in legal proceedings. This standard comes from the case Frye vs. United States (293 F. 1013 (DC Cir 1923)) District of Columbia Circuit Court in 1923, regarding the admissibility of polygraph evidence into court. In most but not all jurisdictions, the Frye standard has been superseded by the Daubert standard.

http://home.att.net/~rawars/paslegal.html

Consider the following cases:

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U.S. and International Court Rulings Relevant to Parental Alienation
(Document last updated 05/18/08: 78 items)

UNITED STATES (22 States)

Alabama

Berry v. Berry, Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County, AL, Case No. DR-96-761.01. Jan 06, 2001
Alaska

Pearson v. Pearson, Sup Ct. of AK., No. S-8973, No. 5297, 5 P.3d 239; 2000 Alas. Lexis 69. July 7, 2000.

Arkansas

Chambers v. Chambers, Ct of App of AR, Div 2; 2000 Ark App. LEXIS 476, June 21, 2000.

California

Coursey v. Superior Court (Coursey), 194 Cal.App.3d 147,239 Cal.Rptr. 365 (Cal.App. 3 Dist., Aug 18, 1987.
John W. v. Phillip W., 41 Cal.App.4th 961, 48 Cal.Rptr.2d 899; 1996.
Valerie Edlund v. Gregory Hales, 66 Cal. App 4th 1454; 78 Cal. Rptr. 2d 671.

Colorado

Oosterhaus v. Short, District Court, County of Boulder (CO), Case No. 85DR1737-Div III.

Connecticut

Case v. Richardson, 1996 WL 434281 (Conn. Super.,Jul 16, 1996).
Metza v. Metza, Sup. Court of Connecticut, Jud. Dist. of Fairfield, at Bridgeport,
1998 Conn. Super. Lexis 2727 (1998).

Florida

Schutz v. Schutz, 522 So. 2d 874 (Fla. 3rd Dist. Ct. App. 1988).
Blosser v. Blosser, 707 So. 2d 778; 1998 Fla. App. Case No. 96-03534.
Tucker v. Greenberg, 674 So. 2d 807 (Fla. 5th DCA 1996).
Berg-Perlow v. Perlow, 15th Circuit Court, Palm Beach County, Fl.,Case no. CD98-1285-FC. Mar 15, 2000.
An exceptionally strong family court decision in which five experts testified to the diagnosis of PAS.
Loten v. Ryan, 15th Circuit Court, Palm Beach County, FL., Case No. CD 93-6567 FA. Dec 11,2000.
Kilgore v. Boyd, 13th Circuit Court, Hillsborough County, FL., Case No. 94-7573, 733 So. 2d 546 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000) Jan 30, 2001.
Boyd v. Kilgore, 773 So. 2d 546 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000) (Prohibition Denied)
Court ruling that the Parental Alienation Syndrome has gained general acceptance in the scientific community and thereby satisfies Frye Test criteria for admissibility.
McDonald v. McDonald, 9th Judicial Circuit Court, Orange County, FL. Case No. D-R90-11079, Feb 20, 1001.
Blackshear v. Blackshear, Hillsborough County, FL 13th Jud. Circuit: 95-08436.

Illinois

In re Violetta 210 III.App.3d 521, 568 N.E2d 1345, 154 III.Dec. 896(Ill.App. I Dist Mar 07, 1991).
In re Marriage of Divelbiss v. Divelbiss, No. 2-98-0999 2nd District, Ill.(Appeal from Circ Crt of Du Page Cty No. 93-D-559) Oct 22, 1999.
Tetzlaff v. Tetzlaff, Civil Court of Cook County, Il., Domestic Relations Division, Cause No. 97D 2127, Mar 20, 2000.
Bates v. Bates 18th Judicial Circuit, Dupage County, IL Case No. 99D958, Jan 17, 2002.
Court ruling that the Parental Alienation Syndrome has gained general acceptance in the scientific community and thereby satisfies Frye Test criteria for admissibility.[excerpt]

Indiana

White v. White, 1995 (Indiana Court of Appeals) 655 N.E.2d 523. (Ind. App., Aug 31, 1995).

Iowa

In re Marriage of Rosenfeld, 524 NW 2d 212, 214 (Iowa app, 1994).

Louisiana

Wilkins v Wilkins, Family Court, Parish of East Baton Rouge, La., Civ. No. 90792. Nov. 2, 2000.
White v Kimrey, Court of Appeal, Second Circuit, LA, No. 37,408-CA. May 14, 2003.Click here for the Court’s decision.

Michigan

Spencley v. Spencley, 2000 WL 33519710 (Mich App).

Nevada

Truax v. Truax, 110 Nev. 437, 874 P. 2d 10 (Nev., May 19, 1994).

New Hampshire

Lubkin v. Lubkin, 92-M-46LD Hillsborough County, NH. (Southern District, Sept. 5, 1996).

New Jersey

Lemarie v. Oliphant, Docket No. FM-15-397-94, (Sup Crt NJ, Ocean Cty:Fam Part-Chancery Div) Dec. 11, 2002.

New York

Rosen v. Edwards (1990) Tolbert, J. (1990), AR v. SE. New York Law Journal, December 11:27-28.
The December 11, 1990 issue of The New York Law Journal [pages 27-28] reprinted, in toto, the ruling of Hon. J. Tolbert of the Westchester Family Court in Westchester Co.
Karen B v. Clyde M., Family Court of New York, Fulton County, 151 Misc. 2d 794; 574 N.Y. 2d 267, 1991.
Krebsbach v. Gallagher, Supreme Court, App. Div., 181 A.D.2d 363; 587 N.Y.S. 2d 346, (1992).
Karen PP. v. Clyde QC. Sup Ct of NY, App Div, 3rd Dept. 197 A.D. 2d 753; 602 N.Y.s. 2d 709; 1993 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 9845.
In the matter of J.F. v. L.F., Fam. Ct. of NY, Westchester Cty, 181 Misc 2d 722; 694 N.Y.S. 2d 592; 1999 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 357.
Oliver V. v. Kelly V., NY Sup. Ct. Part 12. New York Law Journal Nov. 27, 2000.
Sidman v. Zager, Family Court, Tompkins County, NY: V-1467-8-9-94.

Ohio

Sims v. Hornsby, 1992 WL 193682 (Ohio App. 12 Dist., Butler County, Aug 10 1992).
Zigmont v. Toto, 1992 WL 6034 (Ohio App. 8 Dist Cuyahoga County, Jan 16, 1992).
Pisani v. Pisani, Court of Appeals of Ohio, 8th App. Dist. Cuyahoga Cty. 1998 Ohio App. Lexis 4421 (1998).
Pathan v. Pathan, Case No. 96-OS-1. Common Pleas Court of Montgomery County, OH, Div. of Dom Rel.
Pathan v. Pathan, C.A. Case No. 17729. Ct. of App. of OH, 2d Dist., Montgomery County; 2000 Ohio App. Lexis 119. Jan. 21, 2000
Conner v. Renz, 1995 WL 23365 (Ohio App. 4 Dist., Athens County, Jan 19, 1995).
State v. Koelling, 1995 WL 125933 (Ohio App. 10 Dist., Franklin County, Mar 21, 1995).

Pennsylvania

Popovice v. Popovice, Court of Common Pleas, Northampton Cty, PA. Aug 11, 1999, No. 1996-C-2009.

Texas

Ochs et al. v. Myers, App. No. 04-89-00007-CV. Ct. of App. of TX, 4th Dist., San Antonio; 789 S.W. 2d 949; 1990 Tex App. Lexis 1652, May 16, 1990.

Virginia

Ange, Court of Appeals of Virginia, 1998 Va. App. Lexis 59 (1998).
Waldrop v. Waldrop, in Chancery No. 138517. Fairfax County Circuit Court,(Va., April 26, 1999).

Washington

Rich v. Rich, Sup Ct, 5th Dist. Case No. 91-3-00074-4 (Douglas County) June 11, 1993.

Wisconsin

Janelle S. v. J.R.S., Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, District 4. 1997 Wisc. App. LEXIS 1124 (1997).
Fischer v. Fischer, Ct. of App. of WI, Dist. Two, No. 97-2067; 221 Wis. 2d 221; 584 N.W.2d 233; 1998 Wisc. App. Lexis 1534.

Wyoming

In re Marriage of Rosenfeld, 524 N.W. 2d 212 (Iowa App., Aug 25 1994) McCoy v. State 886 P.2d 252 (Wyo.,Nov 30, 1994).
McCoy v State of Wyoming, 886 P.2d 252, 1994.

CANADA (8 Provinces)

Quebec

Stuart-Mills, P. v. Cher, A.J.., Sup. Ct. Quebec, Dist. of Montreal, No. 500-12-184613-895 (1991).
V. (L.) C. H. (E.), 1992 CarswellQue 169; 45 Q.A.C. 100; 1992 R.J.Q. 855; 1992 R.D.F. 316 Cour d’appel du Quebec, Feb 26, 1992.
R.M c. B.R, [1994] A.Q. no 947. DRS 95-09809 No 200-09-000440-948 (200-12-042928-904 C.S.Q.) (Quebec, decision in french only) Oct. 28, 1994
R.F. v. S.P., [2000] Q.J. Np. 3412 No. 500-12-250739-004 Quebec Superior Court (Montreal) Oct. 13, 2000.

Alberta

Elliott v. Elliott, A.J. No. 74 DRS 96-05285 Action No. 4806-10272 Alberta Crt of Queen’s Bench, Jud. Dist. of Lethbridge/Macleod, Jan 25, 1996.
Elliott v. Elliott, 1996 CarswellAlta 95, 193 A.R. 177, 135 W.A.C. 177, 27 R.F.L. (4th) 23 Alberta Court of Appeals. Nov 7, 1996 (Affirmed–Appeal Dismissed)
Johnson v. Johnson, No. 4806-11508a, Jud Dist. of Lethbridge/Macleod, Oct. 09, 1997

Ontario

Rothwell v. Kisko, 1991 CarswellOnt 1326. Ontario Crt of Just. (Gen’l Div.) Docket# 36429/89, Mar 21, 1991.
Davy v. Davy, Ontario Court of Justice (Gen’l Div)Docket 92-gd-21948. 1993 CarswellOnt 1630;1993 W.D.F.L 1535. Oct 7, 1993.
Fortin v. Major, O.J. No. 3805 DRS 97-01672, Court File No. 49729/94 Ontario Crt of Justice (Gen’l Div: Ottawa), Oct 25, 1996.
Demers v. Demers, Ontario Superior Court, Docket: Kingston 54253/96. 1999 CarswellOnt 2621. June 8, 1999.
Orszak v. Orszak, Ontario Superior Court of Justice Docket: 97-FP-234664. 2000 CarswellOnt 1574. May 5, 2000.
Her Majesty the Queen vs. K.C. Superior Court of Justice, Ontario, County of Durham, Central-East Region, Court File No. 9520/01. August, 9, 2002. (Mohan Test)
Rogerson and Tessaro, Court of Appeal for Ontario, Docket: C44199, May 9, 2006. [mentions alienating conduct but not “syndrome.”]
Petternuzzo-Deschene v. Deschene, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Docket: 22661. 2007 WL 22984642007 (Ont. S.C.J.), CarswellOnt 5095. August 8, 2007. [specifically mentions PAS and cites a description of alienating behavior as abuse]
S.P. and P.B.D., Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No. 22661. August 10, 2007.

British Columbia

McLelland v. McLelland, British Columbia Supreme Court Docket: Nanaimo 07907. 1999 CarswellBC 1706. July 2, 1999
Menard v. Menard, Sup. Ct of British Columbia, 2001 CarswellBC 1312; 2001 BCSC 430, Mar 21, 2001.

Nova Scotia

Badakhshan v. Moradi, Nova Scotia Fam Court. 1993 CarswellNS 423;120 N.S.R.(2d) 405; 332 A.P.R. 405. Mar 2, 1993.

New Brunswick

S.O. v. S.C.O, N.B.J. No. 326, Proceeding No. FDSJ-400-98. New Brunswick Crt of Queen’s Bench, Family Division-Jud. Dist. of St. John. Jul 28, 1999.
Jefferson v. Jerfferson, New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench Docket: FDSJ-6408.95. 2000 CarswellNB 15. Jan 18, 2000.

New Foundland

Toope v. Toope, 2000 CarswellNfld 185, 8 R.F.L. (5th) 446, 193 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 313, 582 A.P.R. 313. New Foundland Unified Family Court June 15, 2000.
Saskatchewan

B.S.P. and D.G.P., Queens Bench for Saskatchewan, Docket No. 005359 of 2006, Battleford, Family Law Division, Citation 2008 SKQB 63, Feb. 8, 2008.

AUSTRALIA

Johnson v. Johnson, 4806-11508A. FAMILY COURT OF AUSTRALIA, July 7, 1997.
Johnson v.Johnson, Appeal No. SA1 of 1997 No.AD6182 of 1993, 7 July 1997.

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AT STRASBOURG

Familycase Koudelka/Application number: 1633/05, 20 July 2006
Familycase Zavrel/Application number: 14044/05, 18 April 2007

GERMANY

Anonymous v. Anonymous, Case No. 2xv178, Rinteln (Circuit Court) Germany, Apr. 27, 1998.
Sch. v. Sch., Kammergericht KG Berlin. vom 30 Mai 2000 – 17 UF 1413/99.
Fundstelle: Fam RZ 2000, 1606 (Heft 24 / 2000 vom 15. Dezember 2000)
“¤¤ 1671, 1696 BGB: Bedeutung des Parental Alienation Syndroms im AbŠnderungsverfahren” – Hervorhebungen durch Fettschrift –
Beschluss 17 UF 1413/99 – Volltext der Entscheidung
(136 F11 514/98 AG Berlin (Tempelhof-Kreuzberg Germany)

Anon v. Anon, OLG Ffm vom 13.07.2000 unter Az. 5 WF 112/00,(Germany).
Anon v. Anon, OLG Ffm vom 26.10.2000 unter Az. 6 WF 168/00,(Germany).
Anon v. Anon, OLG Dresden, No. 264 – UF229/02, Aug. 29, 2002 (published in FamRZ: 50(6) 2003: 397).

GREAT BRITAIN

Re: C (Children) (2002) CA (Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss P, Thorpe LJ, Kay LJ) 20/2/2002 COURT OF APPEAL REF: 2001/1642. (Great Britain)

ISRAEL

Jane Doe v. John Doe. Supreme Court, Request for Civil Appeal, 3009/92.
Jane Doe v. John Doe. Ashdod Family Court, Family Docket 2182/00. Jan. 26, 2003.

SWITZERLAND

Entscheid der delegierten des AmtsgerichtsprŠsidenten II con Luzern-Stadt vom 8. Februar 2001 im Verfahren nach Art. 175 ZGB (02 00 210)

PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME REFERENCE LIST

RESOURCES BY DR. RICHARD A. WARSHAK ON PAS, RELOCATION, AND MORE

Decisions of the United States Supreme Court Upholding Parental Rights as “Fundamental”

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, custody, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, HIPAA Law, Homeschool, Indians, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Sociopath on June 29, 2009 at 8:24 pm

by Christopher J. Klicka, Esq.

The Supreme Court of the United States has traditionally and continuously upheld the principle that parents have the fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children. A review of cases taking up the issue shows that the Supreme Court has unwaveringly given parental rights the highest respect and protection possible. What follows are some of the examples of the Court’s past protection of parental rights.

In Meyer v. Nebraska,1 the Court invalidated a state law which prohibited foreign language instruction for school children because the law did not “promote” education but rather “arbitrarily and unreasonably” interfered with “the natural duty of the parent to give his children education suitable to their station in life…” 2 The court chastened the legislature for attempting “materially to interfere… with the power of parents to control the education of their own.” 3 This decision clearly affirmed that the Constitution protects the preferences of the parent in education over those of the State. In the same decision, the Supreme Court also recognized that the right of the parents to delegate their authority to a teacher in order to instruct their children was protected within the liberty of the Fourteenth Amendment. 4

Furthermore, the Court emphasized, “The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right of the individual … to establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to his own conscience.”5

In 1925, the Supreme Court decided the Pierce v. Society of Sisters6 case, thereby supporting Meyer’s recognition of the parents’ right to direct the religious upbringing of their children and to control the process of their education. In Pierce, the Supreme Court struck down an Oregon compulsory education law which, in effect, required attendance of all children between ages eight and sixteen at public schools. The Court declared,

Under the doctrine of Meyer v. Nebraska, we think it entirely plain that the Act of 1922 unreasonably interferes with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children.7 [emphasis supplied]


In addition to upholding the right of parents to direct the upbringing and the education of their children, Pierce also asserts the parents’ fundamental right to keep their children free from government standardization.

The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excluded any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right and the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.8 [emphasis supplied]

The Supreme Court uses strong language in asserting that children are not “the mere creature of the State.” The holding in Pierce, therefore, preserves diversity of process of education by forbidding the State to standardize the education of children through forcing them to only accept instruction from public schools.

In Farrington v. Tokushige, the Court again upheld parental liberty by striking down legislation which the Court admitted would have destroyed most, if not all private schools. 9 The Court noted that the parent has the right to direct the education of his own child without unreasonable restrictions.10 In support of this assertion the Court explained,

The capacity to impart instruction to others is given by the Almighty for beneficent purposes and its use may not be forbidden or interfered with by government — certainly not, unless such instruction is, in its nature, harmful to the public morals or imperils the public safety. 11


The parents’ right to instruct their children clearly takes precedence over the state’s regulatory interest unless the public safety is endangered.

Similarly, in Prince v. Massachusetts,12 the Supreme Court admitted the high responsibility and right of parents to control the upbringing of their children against that of the State.

It is cardinal with us that the custody, care, and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the State can neither supply nor hinder.13 [emphasis supplied]


Twenty-one years later, the Supreme Court, in Griswold v. Connecticut, emphasized that the state cannot interfere with the right of a parent to control his child’s education. 14 The Court stated that the right to educate one’s child as one chooses is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights and applicable to the States by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.15

Forty-eight years after Pierce, the U.S. Supreme Court once again upheld Pierce as “the charter of the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children.” 16 In agreement with Pierce, Chief Justice Burger stated in the opinion of Wisconsin v. Yoder in 1972:

This case involves the fundamental interest of parents, as contrasted with that of the state, to guide the religious future and education of their children. The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring tradition. 17 [emphasis supplied]

This case involved a family of the Amish religion who wanted to be exempt after eighth grade from the public schools to be instructed at home. In its opinion the U.S. Supreme Court further emphasized that:

Thus a state’s interest in universal education, however highly we rank it, is not totally free from a balancing process when it impinges on fundamental rights and interests, such as those specifically protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, and the traditional interest of parents with respect to the religious upbringing of their children . . . This case involves the fundamental and religious future and education of their children. 18 [emphasis supplied]

Consequently, it is clear the constitutional right of a parent to direct the upbringing and education of his child is firmly entrenched in the U.S. Supreme Court case history. Furthermore, a higher standard of review applies to fundamental rights such as parental liberty than to other rights. When confronted with a conflict between parents’ rights and state regulation, the court must apply the “compelling interest test.” Under this test, the state must prove that its infringement on the parents’ liberty is essential to fulfill a compelling interest and is the least restrictive means of fulfilling this state interest. Simply proving the regulation is reasonable is not sufficient.

Below are excerpts from over a dozen United States Supreme Court cases where, primarily in dicta, the Court has declared parental rights to be fundamental rights which require a higher standard of review (i.e. the “compelling interest test”).

1. Paris Adult Theater v. Slaton, 413 US 49, 65 (1973)

In this case, the Court includes the right of parents to rear children among rights “deemed fundamental.”

Our prior decisions recognizing a right to privacy guaranteed by the 14th Amendment included only personal rights that can be deemed fundamental or implicit in the concept of ordered liberty . . . This privacy right encompasses and protects the personal intimacies of the home, the family, marriage, motherhood, procreation, and child rearing . . . cf . . . Pierce v. Society of Sisters; Meyer v. Nebraska . . . nothing, however, in this Court’s decisions intimates that there is any fundamental privacy right implicit in the concept of ordered liberty to watch obscene movies and places of public accommodation. [emphasis supplied]

2. Carey v. Population Services International, 431 US 678, 684-686 (1977)

Once again, the Court includes the right of parents in the area of “child rearing and education” to be a liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, requiring an application of the “compelling interest test.”

Although the Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy, the Court has recognized that one aspect of the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment is a “right of personal privacy or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy . . . This right of personal privacy includes the interest and independence in making certain kinds of important decisions . . . While the outer limits of this aspect of privacy have not been marked by the Court, it is clear that among the decisions that an individual may make without unjustified government interference are personal decisions relating to marriage . . . family relationships, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 US 158 (1944); and child rearing and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 US 510 (1925); Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 US 390 (1923).’ [emphasis supplied]


The Court continued by explaining that these rights are not absolute and,

certain state interests . . . may at some point become sufficiently compelling to sustain regulation of the factors that govern the abortion decision . . . Compelling is, of course, the key word; where decisions as fundamental as whether to bear or beget a child is involved, regulations imposing a burden on it may be justified only by a compelling state interest, and must be narrowly drawn to express only those interests. [emphasis supplied]


3. Maher v. Roe, 432 US 464, 476-479 (1977)

We conclude that the Connecticut regulation does not impinge on the fundamental right recognized in Roe
There is a basic difference between direct state interference with a protected activity and state encouragement of an alternative activity consonant with legislative policy …

This distinction is implicit in two cases cited in Roe in support of the pregnant woman’s right under the 14th Amendment. In Meyer v. Nebraska. . . the Court held that the teacher’s right thus to teach and the right of parents to engage in so to instruct their children were within the liberty of the 14th Amendment . . . In Pierce v. Society of Sisters . . . the Court relied on Meyer . . . reasoning that the 14th Amendment’s concept of liberty excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The Court held that the law unreasonably interfered with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of the children under their control

Both cases invalidated substantial restrictions of constitutionally protected liberty interests: in Meyer, the parent’s right to have his child taught a particular foreign language; in Pierce, the parent’s right to choose private rather than public school education. But neither case denied to a state the policy choice of encouraging the preferred course of action … Pierce casts no shadow over a state’s power to favor public education by funding it — a policy choice pursued in some States for more than a century … Indeed in Norwood v. Harrison, 413 US 455, 462, (1973), we explicitly rejected the argument that Pierce established a “right of private or parochial schools to share with the public schools in state largesse,” noting that “It is one thing to say that a state may not prohibit the maintenance of private schools and quite another to say that such schools must as a matter of equal protection receive state aid” … We think it abundantly clear that a state is not required to show a compelling interest for its policy choice to favor a normal childbirth anymore than a state must so justify its election to fund public, but not private education. [emphasis supplied]

Although the Maher decision unquestionably recognizes parents’ rights as fundamental rights, the Court has clearly indicated that private schools do not have a fundamental right to state aid, nor must a state satisfy the compelling interest test if it chooses not to give private schools state aid. The Parental Rights and Responsibilities Act simply reaffirms the right of parents to choose private education as fundamental, but it does not make the right to receive public funds a fundamental right. The PRRA, therefore, does not in any way promote or strengthen the concept of educational vouchers.

4. Parham v. J.R., 442 US 584, 602-606 (1979).

This case involves parent’s rights to make medical decisions regarding their children’s mental health. The lower Court had ruled that Georgia’s statutory scheme of allowing children to be subject to treatment in the state’s mental health facilities violated the Constitution because it did not adequately protect children’s due process rights. The Supreme Court reversed this decision upholding the legal presumption that parents act in their children’s best interest. The Court ruled:

Our jurisprudence historically has reflected Western civilization concepts of the family as a unit with broad parental authority over minor children. Our cases have consistently followed that course; our constitutional system long ago rejected any notion that a child is “the mere creature of the State” and, on the contrary, asserted that parents generally “have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare [their children] for additional obligations.” Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925) … [other citations omitted] . . . The law’s concept of the family rests on a presumption that parents possess what a child lacks in maturity, experience, and capacity for judgment required for making life’s difficult decisions. More important, historically it has been recognized that natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interests of their children. 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries 447; 2 J. Kent, Commentaries on American Law 190.
As with so many other legal presumptions, experience and reality may rebut what the law accepts as a starting point; the incidence of child neglect and abuse cases attests to this. That some parents “may at times be acting against the interests of their children” … creates a basis for caution, but it is hardly a reason to discard wholesale those pages of human experience that teach that parents generally do act in the child’s best interest … The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.” [emphasis supplied]

Parental rights are clearly upheld in this decision recognizing the rights of parents to make health decisions for their children. The Court continues by explaining the balancing that must take place:

Nonetheless, we have recognized that a state is not without constitutional control over parental discretion in dealing with children when their physical or mental health is jeopardized (See Wisconsin v. Yoder; Prince v. Massachusetts). Moreover, the Court recently declared unconstitutional a state statute that granted parents an absolute veto over a minor child’s decisions to have an abortion, Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth, 428 US 52 (1976), Appellees urged that these precedents limiting the traditional rights of parents, if viewed in the context of a liberty interest of the child and the likelihood of parental abuse, require us to hold that parent’s decision to have a child admitted to a mental hospital must be subjected to an exacting constitutional scrutiny, including a formal, adversary, pre-admission hearing.
Appellees’ argument, however, sweeps too broadly. Simply because the decision of a parent is not agreeable to a child, or because it involves risks does not automatically transfer power to make that decision from the parents to some agency or officer of the state. The same characterizations can be made for a tonsillectomy, appendectomy, or other medical procedure. Most children, even in adolescence, simply are not able to make sound judgements concerning many decisions, including their need for medical care or treatment. Parents can and must make those judgements … we cannot assume that the result in Meyer v. Nebraska, supra, and Pierce v. Society of Sisters, supra, would have been different if the children there had announced a preference to learn only English or preference to go to a public, rather that a church school. The fact that a child may balk at hospitalization or complain about a parental refusal to provide cosmetic surgery does not diminish the parent’s authority to decide what is best for the child (See generally Goldstein, Medical Case for the Child at Risk: on State Supervention of Parental Autonomy, 86 Yale LJ 645, 664-668 (1977); Bennett, Allocation of Child Medical Care Decision — Making Authority: A Suggested Interest Analyses, 62 Va LR ev 285, 308 (1976). Neither state officials nor federal Courts are equipped to review such parental decisions. [emphasis supplied]

Therefore, it is clear that the Court is recognizing parents as having the right to make judgments concerning their children who are not able to make sound decisions, includingtheir need for medical care. A parent’s authority to decide what is best for the child in the areas of medical treatment cannot be diminished simply because a child disagrees. A parent’s right must be protected and not simply transferred to some state agency.

5. Santosky v. Kramer, 455 US 745, 753 (1982)

This case involved the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court affirming the application of the preponderance of the evidence standard as proper and constitutional in ruling that the parent’s rights are permanently terminated. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, vacated the lower Court decision, holding that due process as required under the 14th Amendment in this case required proof by clear and convincing evidence rather than merely a preponderance of the evidence.

The Court, in reaching their decision, made it clear that parents’ rights as outlined in Pierce and Meyer are fundamental and specially protected under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court began by quoting another Supreme Court case:

In Lassiter [Lassiter v. Department of Social Services, 452 US 18, 37 (1981)], it was “not disputed that state intervention to terminate the relationship between a parent and a child must be accomplished by procedures meeting the requisites of the Due Process Clause”. . . The absence of dispute reflected this Court’s historical recognition that freedom of personal choice in matters of family life is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the 14th Amendment … Pierce v. Society of Sisters … Meyer v. Nebraska.
The fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child does not evaporate simply because they have not been model parents or have lost temporary custody of their child to the state … When the state moves to destroy weakened familial bonds, it must provide the parents with fundamentally fair procedures. [emphasis supplied]

6. City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health Inc., 462 US 416, 461 (1983)

This case includes, in a long list of protected liberties and fundamental rights, the parental rights guaranteed under Pierce and Meyer. The Court indicated a compelling interest test must be applied.

Central among these protected liberties is an individual’s freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life … RoeGriswoldPierce v. Society of SistersMeyer v. Nebraska … But restrictive state regulation of the right to choose abortion as with other fundamental rights subject to searching judicial examination, must be supported by a compelling state interest. [emphasis supplied]

7. Lehr v. Robertson, 463 US 248, 257-258 (1983)

In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a decision against a natural father’s rights under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses since he did not have any significant custodial, personal, or financial relationship with the child. The natural father was challenging an adoption. The Supreme Court stated:

In some cases, however, this Court has held that the federal constitution supersedes state law and provides even greater protection for certain formal family relationships. In those cases … the Court has emphasized the paramount interest in the welfare of children and has noted that the rights of the parents are a counterpart of the responsibilities they have assumed. Thus, the liberty of parents to control the education of their children that was vindicated in Meyer v. Nebraska … and Pierce v. Society of Sisters … was described as a “right coupled with the high duty to recognize and prepare the child for additional obligations” … The linkage between parental duty and parental right was stressed again in Prince v. Massachusetts … The Court declared it a cardinal principle “that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder.” In these cases, the Court has found that the relationship of love and duty in a recognized family unit is an interest in liberty entitled to Constitutional protection … “State intervention to terminate such a relationship … must be accomplished by procedures meeting the requisites of the Due Process Clause” Santosky v. Kramer … [emphasis supplied]

It is clear by the above case that parental rights are to be treated as fundamental and cannot be taken away without meeting the constitutional requirement of due process.

8. Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 US 747 (1986)

The U.S. Supreme Court declared, “Our cases long have recognized that the Constitution embodies a promise that a certain private sphere of individual liberty will be kept largely beyond the reach of governmentGriswold v. ConnecticutPierce v. Society of SistersMeyer v. Nebraska.”

By citing Pierce, the Court included parental liberty in that protected sphere.

9. Board of Directors of Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte, 481 US 537 (1987)

In this case, a Californian civil rights statute was held not to violate the First Amendment by requiring an all male non-profit club to admit women to membership. The Court concluded that parents’ rights in child rearing and education are included as fundamental elements of liberty protected by the Bill of Rights.

The Court has recognized that the freedom to enter into and carry on certain intimate or private relationships is a fundamental element of liberty protected by the Bill of Rights … the intimate relationships to which we have accorded Constitutional protection include marriage … the begetting and bearing of children, child rearing and education. Pierce v. Society of Sisters … [emphasis supplied]

10. Michael H. v. Gerald, 491 U.S. 110 (1989)

In a paternity suit, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled:

It is an established part of our constitution jurisprudence that the term liberty in the Due Process Clause extends beyond freedom from physical restraint. See, e.g. Pierce v. Society of SistersMeyer v. Nebraska … In an attempt to limit and guide interpretation of the Clause, we have insisted not merely that the interest denominated as a “liberty” be “fundamental” (a concept that, in isolation, is hard to objectify), but also that it be an interest traditionally protected by our society. As we have put it, the Due Process Clause affords only those protections “so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamentalSnyder v. Massachusetts, 291 US 97, 105 (1934). [emphasis supplied]

The Court explicitly included the parental rights under Pierce and Meyer as “fundamental” and interests “traditionally protected by our society.”

11. Employment Division of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990)

One of the more recent decisions which upholds the right of parents is Employment Division of Oregon v. Smith, which involved two Indians who were fired from a private drug rehabilitation organization because they ingested “peyote,” a hallucinogenic drug as part of their religious beliefs. When they sought unemployment compensation, they were denied because they were discharged for “misconduct.”

The Indians appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals who reversed on the grounds that they had the right to freely exercise their religious beliefs by taking drugs. Of course, as expected, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the case and found that the First Amendment did not protect drug use. So what does the case have to do with parental rights?

After the Court ruled against the Indians, it then analyzed the application of the Free Exercise Clause generally. The Court wrongly decided to throw out the Free Exercise Clause as a defense to any “neutral” law that might violate an individual’s religious convictions. In the process of destroying religious freedom, the Court went out of its way to say that the parents’ rights to control the education of their children is still a fundamental right. The Court declared that the “compelling interest test” is still applicable, not to the Free Exercise Clause alone:

[B]ut the Free Exercise Clause in conjunction with other constitutional protections such as … the right of parents, acknowledged in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), to direct the education of their children, see Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S.205 (1972) invalidating compulsory-attendance laws as applied to Amish parents who refused on religious grounds to send their children to school.19 [emphasis supplied]

In other words, under this precedent, parents’ rights to control the education of their children is considered a “constitutionally protected right” which requires the application of the compelling interest test. The Court in Smith quoted its previous case of Wisconsin v. Yoder:

Yoder said that “The Court’s holding in Pierce stands as a charter for the rights of parents to direct the religious upbringing of their children. And when the interests of parenthood are combined with a free exercise claim … more than merely a reasonable relationship to some purpose within the competency of the State is required to sustain the validity of the State’s requirement under the First Amendment.” 406 U.S., at 233.20 [emphasis supplied]


Instead of merely showing that a regulation conflicting with parents’ rights is reasonable, the state must, therefore, reach the higher standard of the “compelling interest test,” which requires the state to prove its regulation to be the least restrictive means.

12. Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U.S. 417 (1990)

In Hodgson the Court found that parental rights not only are protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments as fundamental and more important than property rights, but that they are “deemed essential.”

The family has a privacy interest in the upbringing and education of children and the intimacies of the marital relationship which is protected by the Constitution against undue state interference. See Wisconsin v Yoder, 7 406 US 205 …
The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.” Parham, 442 US, at 603, [other citations omitted]. We have long held that there exists a “private realm of family life which the state cannot enter.” Prince v Massachusetts

A natural parent who has demonstrated sufficient commitment to his or her children is thereafter entitled to raise the children free from undue state interference. As Justice White explained in his opinion of the Court in Stanley v Illinois, 405 US 645 (1972) [other cites omitted]:

“The court has frequently emphasized the importance of the family. The rights to conceive and to raise one’s children have been deemed ‘essential,’ Meyer v Nebraska, … ‘basic civil rights of man,’ Skinner v Oklahoma, 316 US 535, 541 (1942), and ‘[r]ights far more precious … than property rights,’ May v Anderson, 345 US 528, 533 (1953) … The integrity of the family unit has found protection in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Meyer v Nebraska, supra.” [emphasis supplied]

The Court leaves no room for doubt as to the importance and protection of the rights of parents.

13. H.L. v. Matheson, 450 US 398, 410 (1991)

In this case, the Supreme Court recognized the parents’ right to know about their child seeking an abortion. The Court stated:

In addition, constitutional interpretation has consistently recognized that the parents’ claim to authority in their own household to direct the rearing of their children is basic in the structure of our society.
Ginsberg v. New York, 390 US 629 (1968) … We have recognized on numerous occasions that the relationship between the parent and the child is Constitutionally protected (Wisconsin v. Yoder, Stanley v. Illinois, Meyer v. Nebraska) … “It is cardinal with us that the custody, care, and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom includes preparation for obligations the state can neither supply, nor hinder.” [Quoting Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 US 158, 166, (1944)]. See also Parham v. J.R.; Pierce v. Society of Sisters … We have recognized that parents have an important “guiding role” to play in the upbringing of their children, Bellotti II, 443 US 633-639 … which presumptively includes counseling them on important decisions.


This Court clearly upholds the parent’s right to know in the area of minor children making medical decisions.

14. Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 132 L.Ed.2d 564, 115 S.Ct. 2386 (1995)

In Vernonia the Court strengthened parental rights by approaching the issue from a different point of view. They reasoned that children do not have many of the rights accorded citizens, and in lack thereof, parents and guardians possess and exercise those rights and authorities in the child’s best interest:

Traditionally at common law, and still today, unemancipated minors lack some of the most fundamental rights of self-determination—including even the right of liberty in its narrow sense, i.e., the right to come and go at will. They are subject, even as to their physical freedom, to the control of their parents or guardians. See Am Jur 2d, Parent and Child § 10 (1987).


15. Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000)

In this case the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark opinion on parental liberty. The case involved a Washington State statute which provided that a “court may order visitation rights for any person when visitation may serve the best interests of the child, whether or not there has been any change of circumstances.” Wash. Rev. Code § 26.10.160(3). The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Washington statute “unconstitutionally interferes with the fundamental right of parents to rear their children.” The Court went on to examine its treatment of parental rights in previous cases:

In subsequent cases also, we have recognized the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children…Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 232, 32 L. Ed. 2d 15, 92 S. Ct. 1526 (1972) (“The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition”); Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246, 255, 54 L. Ed. 2d 511, 98 S. Ct. 549 (1978) (“We have recognized on numerous occasions that the relationship between parent and child is constitutionally protected”); Parham v. J. R., 442 U.S. 584, 602, 61 L. Ed. 2d 101, 99 S. Ct. 2493 (1979) (“Our jurisprudence historically has reflected Western civilization concepts of the family as a unit with broad parental authority over minor children. Our cases have consistently followed that course”); Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 753, 71 L. Ed. 2d 599, 102 S. Ct. 1388 (1982) (discussing “the fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child”); Glucksberg, supra, at 720 (“In a long line of cases, we have held that, in addition to the specific freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights, the ‘liberty’ specially protected by the Due Process Clause includes the right … to direct the education and upbringing of one’s children” (citing Meyer and Pierce)). In light of this extensive precedent, it cannot now be doubted that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children. [emphasis supplied]


This case clearly upholds parental rights. In essence, this decision means that the government may not infringe parents’ right to direct the education and upbringing of their children unless it can show that it is using the least restrictive means to achieve a compelling governmental interest.

Conclusion

The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently protected parental rights, including it among those rights deemed fundamental. As a fundamental right, parental liberty is to be protected by the highest standard of review: the compelling interest test.

As can be seen from the cases described above, parental rights have reached their highest level of protection in over 75 years. The Court decisively confirmed these rights in the recent case of Troxel v. Granville, which should serve to maintain and protect parental rights for many years to come.

Copyright 2003 Home School Legal Defense Association. Reprint permission granted.



Footnotes

1. 262 U.S. 390 (1923).

2. Id., at 402.

3. Id., at 401. Also see Bartles v. Iowa, 262 U.S. 404 (1923) where the Court reached a similar conclusion.

4. Meyer, 262 U.S. 390 at 400.

5. Id., at 403.

6. Pierce, 268 U.S. 510 (1925)

7. Ibid at 534.

8. Pierce, 268 U.S. 510 at 535.

9. Farrington v. Tokushige, 273 U.S. 284 (1927) at 298.

10. Id., at 298.

11. Farrington v. Tokushige, (9 cir.) 11 F.2d 710 at 713 (1926), quoting Harlan, J., in Berea College v. Kentucky 211 U.S. 45, 29 S. Ct. 33, 53 L. Ed. 81.

12. Prince v. Massachussetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944).

13. Ibid at 166.

14. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, (1965) at 486.

15. Ibid.

16. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 at 233.

17. Ibid at 232. Burger further admonishes, “and when the interests of parenthood are combined with a free exercise claim of the nature revealed by this record, more than merely a ‘reasonable relation to some purpose within the competency of the State’ is required to sustain the validity of the State’s requirement under the First Amendment.” (Yoder, at 233).

18. Id., at 214.

19. Id., 881.

20. Id., 881, ftn. 1.

Decisions of the United States Supreme Court Upholding Parental Rights as “Fundamental”HSLDA | National Center Special Report.

Mothers Act Fuels Multibillion Dollar Industry – Part 3 of 3

In Child Custody, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Freedom, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Parents rights on June 29, 2009 at 3:00 am

The prescribing of seven drugs, including two antipsychotics and five antidepressants, to treat OCD is a typical example of the profit-driven drugging that women snagged by the Mother’s Act will face, but it’s a far cry from the description Katherine wrote about regarding the comparatively minor treatment she received, when she stated in the June 7, 2004 issue of Newsweek, “in my case, that meant taking an antidepressant and going for weekly therapy sessions.”

Aside from all the serious health risks now known to be associated with these drugs, most women could not afford the 7-drug “cure” that Katherine ingested. According to DrugStore.com in December 2008, from first to last, at a middle dose for a 30-day supply, the drugs would cost: Effexor $197.86, Celexa $279.92, Seroquel $388.38, Risperdal $652.07, Wellbutrin XI $202.08, Luvox CR $135.99, and Cymbalta $366.62. The cost of “etc” is impossible to calculate without knowing how many more drugs she took.

In a March 11, 2009 Postpartum Progress blog, Katherine plugs herself for speaking jobs, along with a study that concluded “the Internet is a viable and feasible tool to screen for PPD.”

“I’ll be adding this study to the speech I give on how women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders use the Internet,” she reports, and then adds:

“If you’re interested in having me speak at your event, let me know!”

On March 10, 2009, Katherine’s headline read: “It’s Petition Signing Time! Get Out Your Virtual Pen & Support Women with PPD”, and reported “that Susan Stone over at Perinatal Pro is alerting everyone to the new petition created by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance to support the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. She states that last year’s petition generated more than 24,000 signatures. The petition has been reintroduced this year to try and get this legislation passed once again.”

The blog carried a live link to a page where “you can scroll down, enter your zip code and generate letters of support in a matter of seconds for the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act that will be sent to your local Congresspeople and Senators.”

Katherine further told readers: “I know you’re thinking ‘but I already did that last year.’ Well that was then and this is now. Do it again.”

The 2007 Annual Report for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance shows this Big Pharma front group received between $150,000 and $499,000 from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Wyeth. Abbott Labs, Cyberonics, Eli Lilly, Forest Labs, GlaxoSmithKline, Organon, and Otsuka American Pharmaceuticals each gave between $10,000 and $149,999.

The 2006 Annual Report shows that AstraZeneca gave the group more than $500,000. Abbott Labs, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Wyeth gave between $150,000 and $499,000, and Forest Labs, Glaxo, Janssen, Pfizer, and Shire Pharmaceuticals each gave between $10,000 and $149,000. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance in Baltimore also received $5,000 from Eli Lilly in the first quarter of 2008, according to Lilly’s grant report.

In the section of the 2007 Annual report “at a Glance: How We Met Our Mission,” among the things accomplished by the group, it states:

“Promoted Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research & Care Act at invitation of Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)

“Promoted MOTHER’s Act at invitation of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)”

After writing letters to Congress through the link established by the industry funded Alliance, those visiting Postpartum Progress will hopefully click on the link to Amazon and buy the book “Perinatal and Postpartum Mood Disorders: Perspectives and Treatment Guide for the Health Care Practitioner” by none other than the Perinatal Pro “expert,” Susan (Dowd) Stone, and Alexis Menkin, at a special price of $43.20, for a savings of $10.80.

Katherine also provides a link to the PerinatalPro website, where women can find treatment for all the “mood” and “anxiety” disorders diagnosed with internet screenings at “Blue Skye Consulting,” where Susan is listed as the Managing Director and Owner.

She also served as president of Postpartum Support International from 2006 – 2008, as vice-president and Conference Chair in 2005 – 2006, and will chair the group’s President’s Advisory Council through 2010. This group brags of being the leading proponent of the Mother’s Act. On March 2, 2009, Susan’s PerinatalPro Blog announced: “The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act moves forward!” and stated:

“Thank you to Congressman Bobby L. Rush, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Richard Durbin for your unceasing efforts on behalf of America’s mothers!”

She should have thanked these members of Congress for boosting her career status and yearly income from her treatment center, speaking fees and book sales.

On PerinatalPro, Susan posts a running list of supporters for the Mother’s Act. On March 27, 2009, the list included many drug company funded groups. For instance, the American Psychiatric Association is listed as a supporter. In 2006, the pharmaceutical industry provided close to 30% of the Association’s $62.5 million in financing, according to the July 12, 2008 New York Times.

In the first quarter of 2007, Eli Lilly gave the Association grants worth more than $412,000, according to Lilly’s grant report. The group also received $623,190 from Lilly in the first quarter of 2008.

In her PerinatalPro blogs, Susan has nothing but praise for Katherine’s website and directs visitors back to Postpartum Progress with a live link. On March 16, 2009, Katherine posted a “Quick Survey on Postpartum Anxiety,” and wrote:

“The fabulous Karen Kleiman has asked me to ask you to participate in a short, five-question online survey on anxiety. She says ANYONE can answer it, regardless of the age of their baby(s) and regardless of diagnosis or lack thereof. ANY mother should answer the questions. It’s super quick — I know because I took it myself.”

Kleiman must be fabulous because she has three books for sale on Postpartum Progress with links to purchase them on Amazon. In fact, there are a total of fourteen books for sale on Katherine’s site from which she most likely gets a kick-back with every sale.

Kleiman’s survey is an excellent example of the methods used to con women into suspecting they are mentally ill via the “expert” blogs. The preface states: “The questions on this survey can be answered by a new mother of an infant or an empty-nester with good recall of the early days with her baby. Please answer as honestly as you can.”

The question, capital letters and all, reads: “When you were carrying your baby down a flight of stairs, did you EVER, at ANY time, have ANY thought, image or concern that you could accidentally drop your baby?” The survey further tells women:

If you answered YES to the first question, please describe the type of worry you had: Scary thoughts about dropping the baby, Scary images about dropping the baby, Both thoughts and images, Other.

How much distress did this cause you? A Great deal of distress, Some distress but I quickly got over it, Some distress that seemed to linger, Not much stress

Did this thought or image occur once or did it recur? Only once, It recurred frequently, It recurred persistently, It occurred off and on, Did you ever tell anyone about the fear of dropping the baby? (Please describe why you chose to tell someone or why you chose not to)

As a mother with good recall, the “honest” answer is yes, with two babies born 4 years apart, every single night as I stumbled out of bed half asleep for a nightly feeding, my normal fear instinct kicked in and warned me to be careful not to trip and fall down the stairs or drop the baby.

Women who take the survey are told nothing about what the results mean; but clearly the seed is planted that something is wrong if you “EVER, at ANY time, have ANY thought, image or concern that you could accidentally drop your baby”.

Katherine’s website also provides links to the “Top Women’s PPMD Treatment Programs & Specialists.” The first link on the list takes women to the “Emory Women’s Mental Health Program” that primarily focuses on “the evaluation and treatment of emotional disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period,” according to Emory University’s website. Lilly’s 2008 first quarter grant report shows Emory’s Department of Psychiatry received $25,000.

The “experts” at Emory include some top pharmaceutical industry shills. For example, a link to “Articles” brings up roughly 90 studies and papers that include the co-author Dr Charles Nemeroff. Nemeroff is on an ever-growing list of academic researchers in the field of psychiatry under investigation by the US Senate Finance Committee for not disclosing millions of dollars of income from the makers of psychotropic drugs.

Emory’s investigation found he was paid more than $960,000 by Paxil maker, GlaxoSmithKline, from 2000 through 2006, but listed less than $35,000 on his Emory disclosure forms. All totaled, Nemeroff had earnings of $2.8 million from speaking and consulting arrangements with drug companies between 2000 and 2007, but only disclosed a fraction of that amount, according to the Senate Finance Committee reports.

On July 23, 2008, Medscape Psychiatry & Mental Health posted an article by Nemeroff titled: “Weighing Risk and Benefit for Treatment of Depression in Pregnancy and Post Partum”. On March 17, 2009, the Medscape website stated: “This article is temporarily unavailable.”

Maybe that’s because the “top expert,” Dr Nemeroff, recently stepped down as chairman of Emory’s psychiatry department.

Part One
Part Two

Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for Scoop Independent News and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America. Article sponsored by the Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman law firm

NCCPR Child Welfare Blog: Another reporter suckered by the myths of Mary Ellen (and an amazing number of other myths as well)

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights on June 28, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another reporter suckered by the myths of Mary Ellen (and an amazing number of other myths as well)

It’s been nearly 20 years since my book about child welfare, Wounded Innocents was published (Prometheus Books, 1990, 1995). I began the chapter about the history of American child welfare with an attempt to debunk one of the most enduring, and pernicious, myths in the field. In fact, one might call it the creation myth of the entire modern child welfare establishment.

The mountain of myth is built upon a molehill of truth about Mary Ellen Wilson, a little girl who lived in New York City in the 1870s, who was repeatedly and brutally beaten. In court she testified to beatings by her “Mamma.”

The first myth propounded by America’s “child savers,” as they proudly called themselves in the 19th Century, is that it required the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to intervene and seek protection of Mary Ellen as an animal.

To this day, I wrote in Wounded Innocents,

Child savers point to the case of Mary Ellen as a prime example of what life for children would be like without them. The case teaches us, they say, that parents cannot be allowed to control their children like property and that massive intervention is essential to protect “children’s rights.”

But if you know the real story of Mary Ellen, using it to justify the current system of massive coercive intervention into families becomes impossible.

For starters, though the head of the local SPCA did indeed call the case to the attention of the court, he did so as a prominent private citizen, not in his official capacity – and not by suggesting that Mary Ellen be protected as an animal.

But even more important, there’s one vital part of the story the child savers, and the credulous reporters who love the Mary Ellen myth, almost always leave out:

Mary Ellen was a foster child.

The “mamma” who did her so much harm was her foster mother. Mary Ellen had been taken from her real mamma and placed with her abuser by the New York Board of Charities – which then failed to monitor her care.

As I wrote in the book:

The real lessons of Mary Ellen concern the inability of the state to be an effective parent, the risks of abuse in foster care, and the need to help parents – like Mary Ellen’s real “mamma” – take care of their children. In short, the lesson of Mary Ellen is the lesson every doctor is taught in medical school: First, do no harm.

But a few inconvenient facts aren’t going to quash a myth with such powerful visceral appeal – one that panders to all our middle-class rescue fantasies at once. So every generation of young, journalists seems to embrace it all over again. (And they’re not alone, even one of the best reporters ever to cover these issues fell for this one, long ago.)

The latest example turned up earlier this year. I’m not going to name the reporter or the paper since there’s no reason to pick on one, earnest, well-meaning reporter when so many have been fooled. But it was a classic. For her one and only identified source, the reporter relied on a local real estate agent and fiction writer who’d co-authored a book that accepted all the Mary Ellen mythology at face value. Based on this, the reporter declared that

Indeed, the head of an animal protection group helped rescue a child in the 1874 case that ignited the child protection movement. Advocates argued she deserved at least the rights of an animal. [The real estate agent/author] … said children were viewed as property and “it was about not interfering between a parent and a child.” Uneasiness about government interference in families endured.

The reporter then turns to the local judge, whose comments over the years to not suggest overwhelming insight, but someone regarded by the local paper as wiser than Solomon himself. The judge tells the reporter that, in the reporter’s words,

“liberty interests led to parents being allowed to raise children largely how they saw fit until as recently as the early 1970s.”

Absolutely none of this is true. Mary Ellen’s foster mother was convicted of felonious assault, not animal cruelty. New York City’s first statute against child abuse dates to 1833. By 1874 thousands of New York City children, whose parents’ primary crimes had been being poor and being immigrants, already had been taken from those parents and shipped out to the south and Midwest on so-called “orphan trains” – even though many of them were not orphans. And by the early 1970s, there were hundreds of thousands of children trapped in foster care on any given day.

Most important, of course, that little detail about Mary Ellen being a foster child is nowhere to be found in the reporter’s account.

But it’s how the reporter defended her account that would, I am sure, make at least one of my former journalism professors roll over in his grave. It’s true, she wrote on the newspaper’s website, because the American Humane Association says so. You know – American Humane, the animal rights group with a child saving arm – the close cousin of the SPCA. This is, of course, like saying “I know what the candidate said about his economic plan is true because his campaign office vouched for every word!” or “I know the drug is safe because the drug company flack told me so!”

But the mythology and hype didn’t end with Mary Ellen. In fact, when it comes to misinformation-per-column-inch, this story is hard to top.

For instance, in keeping with the “we-treat-animals-better-than-children” theme, there’s the return of this old chestnut: “Foster care board rates … are less than what it often costs to board a dog…” I dealt with that one in this previous post to the Blog.

And there are two big errors right in the lead, which reads: “More than 300 abused and neglected children lack voices in … County court. There are not enough volunteers.”

Error number one: Just because a child has been brought to court – and even just because a child is in foster care does not mean that child is abused and neglected. It may mean only that a caseworker thinks the child may be abused and neglected and a judge is allowing the government to hold that child in foster care while everyone tries to find out. Saying that every child in foster care is “abused and neglected” is like saying everyone sitting in a jail is a criminal. Some are. But others are awaiting trial because they can’t make bail.

The second error is the claim that those volunteer advocates are a voice for the child. They are not. In this state, as in most, the advocates advocate for whatever they think is best. If the child happens to agree, then the child has a voice. But if the child wants to go home and the advocate thinks it is in that child’s “best interests” to remain in foster care (or if the child wants to stay in foster care and the advocate wants the child to go home) the child has no voice. Whether or not one believes this is as it should be (and I certainly don’t) this is simply a blatant error of fact – one of many in a story riddled with misinformation and mythology.

NCCPR Child Welfare Blog: Another reporter suckered by the myths of Mary Ellen (and an amazing number of other myths as well).

Mom’s House, Dad’s House – Two Books on Divorce

In Best Interest of the Child, Childrens Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Marriage, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights on June 28, 2009 at 10:20 pm

For Kids on divorce, stepfamilies, and staying strong

Parents, if you only read one book about divorce and stepfamilies,
make it this one!

This wonderful book is a quick but profound read for parents, a lifesaving handbook for kids. Find immediate, concrete, and practical solutions! Get an inside look at how to reduce anxiety, accept family changes, encourage skill building, self-esteem, resilience and family teamwork. It’s alive with examples, stories, tips, ways to solve problems and “words to try”. 20 Chapters, 271 pages.

See “Kids and Parents” for more information

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AMAZON

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Mom’s House, Dad’s House.

For Parents on divorce, children,
custody, and Parenting Plans

This classic guide can help you and your family heal

Often called “the bible”, this is the comprehensive guide that people return to again and again. The latest edition has 5 more chapters and 100 additional pages on family law, custody, dealing with the other parent, mediation, Parenting Plans, meeting children’s needs, one and two homes, building family strengths, and much more. 20 Chapters, 8 Appendices, 381 pages.

See “Parents” for more information

ParentsFirst – UK Organization for Parents and Children

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, Liberty, Marriage, Maternal Deprivation, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation on June 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Parents First is a British non-governmental voluntary organisation which aims through advice, support and referrals to help ALL parents (especially single parents) affected by family breakdown – in its various forms – to overcome their problems and to reunite with their child/ren safely wherever possible. We aim to help parents help themselves! Specifically, we aim to help aggrieved parents by mounting challenges in the UK courts using the Human Rights Act 1998 together with the Children Act 1989!

Parents First strongly believes in the integrity of the nuclear family as the building block of society. We see the right of the child to give and receive unconditional love and parental upbringing as non-negotiable and inextricably tied up with a meaningful definition of child welfare, which is paramount unless demonstrably proven impossible to achieve. Therefore, Family Life deserves respect.

Parents First endorses precise risk identification, its quantification and its effective management as the modern, enlightened approach, and hence categorically objects to crude over-simplifications in this sensitive area over a child/ren’s future within its/their birth family.

In the private law domain, we see ongoing inter-parental conflict post-relationship breakdown as incompatible with the continuing roles as parents and discourage perpetuating any inter-parental hostility as distinctly unhelpful to the child/rens welfare.

Hence we encourage separating couples to consider their child/ren’s welfare needs above their own, despite the acrimonies involved.

In the public law arena we view state intervention as the lesser of two evils and only to be used sparingly. We promote due and requisite statutory support for families with child/ren in need to minimise family disruption in order to keep families together and not to split them up needlessly.

There is not one single recorded case where a birth parent has taken on the system to win back his/her child from state care, and then gone on to harm or kill it – because this is simply improbable!

Yet, on the basis of little more than public hysteria and hyperbole over systematic failings by social service departments up and down the British Isles, (in the wake of their spectacular disasters in genuinely tragic cases, eg, Baby Peter, Khyra Ishaq, Victoria Climbie and many others,) over-zealous practice is rife causing unnecessary family breakdown by depriving capable parents of vital opportunities to demonstrate their parenting abilities. This practice is clearly disproportional and must be stopped. Yet that abuse in care continues unabated and is virtually unchallenged is outrageous!

via ParentsFirst – HOME.

New York court rules same-sex partner lacks parental rights

In Family Rights on June 28, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Friday, April 10, 2009

New York court rules same-sex partner lacks parental rights

Tere Miller-Sporrer at 12:27 PM ET

Photo source or description

[JURIST] A New York state appeals court ruled [decision text] Thursday that a same-sex partner lacks standing to assert parental rights over the biological child of her partner unless she has adopted the child. The ruling limits parental rights under NY Domestic Relations Law § 70 [text] to biological or adoptive parents, following precedent set in the 1991 case of Allison D. v. Virginia M. [decision text]. The trial court had rejected that precedent and ordered a hearing to determine whether the plaintiff’s relationship with the child was tantamount to that of a parent. Amicus curiae briefs in favor of the hearing were submitted by the National Association of Social Workers, the National Association of Social Workers’ New York State Chapter, the National Association of Social Workers’ New York City Chapter, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the New York Civil Liberties Union [advocacy websites].

Thursday’s decision comes shortly after a New York court ruled that a same-sex surviving spouse was entitled to inheritance [JURIST report], an outgrowth of New York’s 2008 legal recognition of all out-of-state same-sex marriages [JURIST report]. This mandate supported an intermediate appellate court ruling [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that legal same-sex marriages performed outside the state are entitled to recognition in New York. In September, the a New York judge dismissed [decision and order; JURIST report] a challenge to the directive.

via JURIST – Paper Chase: New York court rules same-sex partner lacks parental rights.

When kids get caught in the middle – Edmonton Examiner – Alberta, CA

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, state crimes, Torts on June 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Children of divorce are often forced to choose between mom and dad

Posted By Melanie Thompson,
EXAMINER STAFF

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The names in this story have been changed in order to protect “Jenny.”)

Ben no longer sees his daughter. He has lost all contact. A separation from his spouse forced their daughter to choose one parent over the other.

Jenny chose her mother.

Ben always had a normal father-daughter relationship with Jenny. After the separation, Jenny remained with her mother but Ben maintained a regular bi-weekly visitation schedule as agreed to by himself and his ex-spouse.

Things were going well. But soon he began to notice changes in Jenny.

HASN’T GIVEN UP HOPE

Now, seven years after the separation, she doesn’t want him near. She doesn’t want to go to his home for visits. She doesn’t want his birthday gifts.

Ben has almost given up all hope for a relationship with his daughter.

Jenny is caught in the middle of a case of parental alienation, which commonly occurs among divorced families.

This condition is described by the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) as a group of verbal and non-verbal behaviours by one or both parents that are damaging to children’s mental and emotional well being. Children are manipulated or brainwashed into choosing one parent over the other.

via When kids get caught in the middle – Edmonton Examiner – Alberta, CA.

Mothers Act Fuels Multibillion Dollar Industry – Part 2 of 3

In Best Interest of the Child, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, mothers rights, National Parents Day, state crimes on June 28, 2009 at 10:00 am
April 10, 2009. By Evelyn Pringle //

More Democrats than Republicans are supporting the Mother’s Act. The increased campaign funding to Democrats may well explain this turn of events. For the last eight election cycles the pharmaceutical industry has contributed far more to Republicans than Democrats. In the 2006 cycle the percentage was 28% to Democrats and 70% to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit group that tracks political funding.

Child PrescriptionBut the Democrats were close to matching the Republicans for the 2008 cycle with $5,099,942 to Democrats compared to $5,680,871 to Republicans, which is probably why the Democrats would allow such an obvious drug marketing scheme to be implemented.

“The Mothers Act, while appearing like an Act of benevolence, is a dangerous and unnecessary measure that will result in the further over-prescription of drugs that are already grotesquely over-prescribed,”
says Kate Gillespie, one of the lead attorneys handling SSRI birth defect lawsuits and Paxil suicide cases at the Los Angeles based Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman law firm.

“The Act is a slippery slope,” she warns, “toward the forced drugging of women of childbearing years with drugs of questionable efficacy and serious safety issues effecting mothers and their innocent children – drugs that can cause horrific side effects, including, suicidal behavior, violence and devastating birth defects.”

“Of course, mothers who truly cannot cope should be helped,” Ms Gillespie says, “but do we really need legislation requiring mothers to be screened and drugged?”

“Take out politics and Big Pharma and the push for this legislation just doesn’t make sense,” she states.

“For politicians, a much safer issue than pushing drugs for pregnant mothers is promoting the expansion of medical treatment for postpartum depression,” according to Dr Levine.

He says the Mother’s Act “omits relevant truths” about Melanie Blocker-Stokes, the woman the bill is named after, and the following information about her suicide should be made known:

“Blocker-Stokes… did in fact receive extensive psychiatric treatment. She was hospitalized three times in seven weeks, given four combinations of anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant medications, and underwent electroconvulsive therapy (electroshock). But despite her psychiatric treatment — or because of it — Melanie Blocker-Stokes jumped to her death from the twelfth floor of a Chicago hotel.”

“There is no evidence that antidepressant use by depressed mothers lowers their likelihood of suicide,” Dr Levine says, “and there is a great deal of evidence that antidepressant use can make some people manic, agitated, and violent.”

Money-making promoters behind the Act

Katherine Stone runs an internet website called “Postpartum Progress” and posts a daily blog. She also serves on the board of Postpartum Support International as the public relations outreach chairwoman. Her Bio says she “is a nationally-recognized, award-winning advocate for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.”

“In 2001,” Katherine reports on her website, that “she suffered postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder after the birth of her first child. The feeling of isolation and shame she suffered inspired her to create Postpartum Progress, which has become the most widely-read blog in the United States on postpartum depression, postpartum OCD, antepartum depression, postpartum PTSD and postpartum psychosis.”

On another page titled, “The Art of Psychiatric Medication,” Katherine tells women to hang in there if a medication does not work because for her diagnosis of OCD, she states:

“I’ve taken many medications, including Effexor, Celexa, Seroquel, Risperdal, Wellbutrin, Luvox, Cymbalta, etc. Throughout all of them, I was on the road to recovery. Some just worked better than others at treating my symptoms.”

She ends the commentary by telling women: “You will find the right medication for you, and you will get better.”

Mother’s Act – infant |LawyersandSettlements.com.

Jennifer Hoult – Article on Parental Alienation Credibility is Suspect

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on June 28, 2009 at 5:00 am

The Evidentiary Admissibility of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Science, Law, and Policy

I wanted to find out more about the writer of the article above and found this nonsense article about Jennifer Hoult. Apparently Ms. Hoult, now an attorney, realized that there is big dollars in prosecuting for “repressed memories” and like a lot of rabid feminist attorneys, attack parental alienation, not on its merits, but because by keeping false allegations and repressed memories as part of the family law cycle, they can keep making $$Billions of Dollars in Legal fees, and keep the cycle of child abuse alive.

HOULT [MASSACHUSETTS] David Hoult, 68, was arrested and sent to prison
in October 2003. The now-retired MIT professor Hoult was originally
accused by his daughter, Jennifer, who had begun therapy in the fall
of 1984 with an unlicensed New York psychotherapist for problems that
included divided loyalties surrounding her parents’ divorce. Jennifer
recovered memories that she had been abused, and she sued her father
in 1988, claiming she had been molested from the ages of 4 years to 17
years, hundreds if not thousands of times and sometimes with many
family members nearby. She claimed that she buried these memories
until she was 24 years old.

The case went to trial in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts (Hoult
v. Hoult, 1993). Jennifer Hoult was on the stand for three days and
had experts to support her. David Hoult’s attorney had no experts or
even character witnesses. The attorney apparently believed that the
implausibility of the “memories” would be enough. He thought wrongly.
A Massachusetts jury awarded Jennifer $500,000 that David Hoult never
paid, the reason he is now in prison.

Review of Judith Wallerstein’s The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce : The 25 Year Landmark Study – BrothersJudd.com

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Freedom, Homeschool, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on June 28, 2009 at 12:14 am

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce : The 25 Year Landmark Study (2000)

If we give them the benefit of the doubt, we can assume that the folks who reformed divorce laws, beginning about forty years ago, honestly believed that children would benefit from having happier parents more than they would suffer from the process itself.  But we are four decades along in this social experiment and, as Judith Wallerstein and her colleagues capably demonstrate, it’s time to acknowledge that the reformers were catastrophically wrong and that their error has dire and continuing consequences for our society.  It’s important to note that the authors are not saying that divorce is bad per se, they well understand that some family situations are so unhealthy that it is better for all concerned that the marriage end, but they do provide important insights into the long term effects that even relatively amicable divorces have on the children of divorce, effects which endure into adulthood.

One of the most important contributions of their study is a point that should be obvious : children don’t particularly care that their parents might be happier if they could get out of their marriages, they want them to stay together.  This is a simple function of the fact that children are even more monstrously selfish than the rest of us.  Less obvious, but still commonsensical, is the idea that the divorce of one’s parents is likely to permanently shape your own personality, your emotional well being, and your capacity and willingness to trust and love others.  Progressives may not like it, but it is nonetheless true that the nuclear family is the most ancient, powerful, and important social arrangement of humankind.  To imagine that children, the most vulnerable and impressionable members of that unit, would be able to just shrug of its breakdown is absurd on its face.  Divorce quite naturally terrifies children, calling into question the general stability of family and love.  Little wonder then that adult children of divorce experience great anxiety and difficulty when they try to establish relationships and form families of their own.

The authors illustrate these points and many others with examples from actual cases they have studied.  This is very effective as a way of personalizing their arguments, but has left them open to legitimate criticism that their work does not meet rigorous scientific standards.  In the end, you are likely to judge their work by whether it confirms or contradicts your own political viewpoint.  But it’s awfully hard to just dismiss their findings.

In the conclusion to the book, they offer some very moderate and tentative proposals for policy changes that would reduce the negative impact of divorce on children.  As they note, we have created a culture of divorce, one in which 45% of all first marriages end in divorce, and 65% of second marriages.  This should be intolerable to us, because it essentially defeats the purposes for which the institution was created and calls into the question the benefits that we extend to married couples.  Personally, I would incorporate some of the authors’ suggestions but add several, much harsher ones, of my own :

(1)    As they suggest, children should be given a strong voice in custody and visitation matters.  It should be less important to us as a society what the divorcing parents desire and more important what their children wish.

(2)    Instructing school age kids in good marriage and parenting skills seems harmless enough, though unlikely to do much good.

(3)    Likewise, encouraging businesses to adopt more family-friendly policies–flextime and the like–is certainly worthwhile, but doesn’t seem likely to have a major impact.

(4)    Mandatory counseling prior to divorce is also unobjectionable.  Though I’d have it done through churches, rather than under government auspices.

(5)    In addition, just as we extend tax and other benefits to married couples, there should be tax penalties associated with divorce, particularly in cases where children are involved.  The authors note that people like the current ease of divorce because it provides them with great freedom.  But freedom must carry with it certain responsibilities and obligations.

(6)    Similarly, you should only be allowed one bite at the apple.  Divorced persons should, if they are allowed to remarry, not be granted the same benefits as they were the first time.  In law, they should be treated as singles.

(7)    Tax benefits, student loan provisions, school vouchers, mortgage breaks, etc. should all be greatly expanded for married couples.  A society has no more important task than the raising of its next generation, and anything government can do to make parents task easier should be done.  The best way to do this is not through new programs but by making it more affordable to have and to raise children.

(8)    All of these provisions should be waived in cases where there has been physical or sexual abuse of either spouse or children or where one spouse has committed adultery.  Divorce should be made an unattractive option for couples who are merely unhappy, but must remain a viable option where people are genuinely endangered or are sinned against.  At the same time courts should punish such behaviors, including adultery, much more severely than they historically have.

These reforms, and given time we can probably come up with more, will raise obvious objections.  People don’t much care to be forced to accept responsibilities; they much prefer being given freedoms.  Tough.  Marriage is not a right; it is a privilege.  Marriage is a civic institution which exists to fulfill certain set purposes–chief among them are procreation and child-rearing.  It would be great if all married couples were happy, but as a society this is only a secondary concern.  The stability of the institution is more important than the happiness of the participants and their happiness is actually unimportant when it has a negative impact on their children.

Of course, I’m a child of divorced parents, so all of the forgoing may just be sour grapes and the product of my own damaged psyche…

(Reviewed:17-Oct-01)

American Civil Liberties Union : U.S. Supreme Court Declares Strip Search Of 13-Year-Old Student Unconstitutional

In Best Interest of the Child, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, Freedom, Liberty on June 27, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Ruling In ACLU Case Is Vindication of Students’ Constitutional Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that school officials violated the constitutional rights of a 13-year-old Arizona girl when they strip searched her based on a classmate’s uncorroborated accusation that she previously possessed ibuprofen. The American Civil Liberties Union represents April Redding, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, whose daughter, Savana Redding, was strip searched by Safford Middle School officials six years ago.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court recognized that school officials had no reason to strip search Savana Redding and that the decision to do so was unconstitutional,” said Adam Wolf, an attorney with the ACLU who argued the case before the Court. “Today’s ruling affirms that schools are not constitutional dead zones. While we are disappointed with the Court’s conclusion that the law was not clear before today and therefore school officials were not found liable, at least other students will not have to go through what Savana experienced.”

Savana Redding, an eighth grade honor roll student at Safford Middle School in Safford, Arizona, was pulled from class on October 8, 2003 by the school’s vice principal, Kerry Wilson. Earlier that day, Wilson had discovered prescription-strength ibuprofen – 400 milligram pills equivalent to two over-the-counter ibuprofen pills, such as Advil – in the possession of Redding’s classmate. Under questioning and faced with punishment, the classmate claimed that Redding, who had no history of disciplinary problems, had given her the pills.

After escorting Redding to his office, Wilson demanded that she consent to a search of her possessions. Redding agreed, wanting to prove she had nothing to hide. Wilson did not inform Redding of the reason for the search. Joined by a female school administrative assistant, Wilson searched Redding’s backpack and found nothing. Instructed by Wilson, the administrative assistant then took Redding to the school nurse’s office in order to perform a strip search.

In the school nurse’s office, Redding was ordered to strip to her underwear. She was then commanded to pull her bra out and to the side, exposing her breasts, and to pull her underwear out at the crotch, exposing her pelvic area. The strip search failed to uncover any ibuprofen pills.

“The strip search was the most humiliating experience I have ever had,” said Redding in a sworn affidavit following the incident. “I held my head down so that they could not see that I was about to cry.”

The strip search was undertaken based solely on the uncorroborated claims of the classmate facing punishment. No attempt was made to corroborate the classmate’s accusations among other students or teachers. No physical evidence suggested that Redding might be in possession of ibuprofen pills or that she was concealing them in her undergarments.

Furthermore, the classmate had not claimed that Redding currently possessed any pills, nor had the classmate given any indication as to where they might be concealed. No attempt was made to contact Redding’s parents prior to conducting the strip search.
In response to today’s ruling, Redding said, “I wanted to make sure that no other person would have to go through this, so I am pleased by the Court’s decision. I’m glad to have helped make students feel safer in school.”

The case, Safford Unified School District v. Redding, was appealed from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which found the strip search to be unconstitutional. A six-judge majority of the appeals court further held that, since the strip search was clearly unreasonable, the school official who ordered the search is not entitled to immunity. In today’s Supreme Court decision, despite deeming the strip search of Redding unconstitutional, the Court found that the school officials involved are immune from liability. The decision leaves open the possibility, however, that the Safford Unified School district could be held liable.

“Neither the Constitution nor common sense permits school officials to treat a strip search the same as a locker or backpack search,” said Steven R. Shapiro, the ACLU’s national Legal Director. “Today’s ruling eliminates any confusion that school officials may have had about this seemingly obvious point.”

The ACLU and ACLU of Arizona were joined in the case by Bruce Macdonald, with the law firm McNamara, Goldsmith, Jackson & Macdonald, and Andrew Petersen, with the firm Humphrey & Petersen.

In addition, a broad constellation of adolescent health experts and privacy rights advocates filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of Redding, including the National Education Association, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), CATO Institute, Rutherford Institute, Goldwater Institute and Urban Justice Center, among others.

Today’s decision is available online at: www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/search/40031lgl20090625.html

The ACLU’s brief in the case is available online at: www.aclu.org/scotus/2008term/saffordunifiedschooldistrictv.redding/39160lgl20090325.html

http://www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/search/40033prs20090625.html

American Civil Liberties Union : U.S. Supreme Court Declares Strip Search Of 13-Year-Old Student Unconstitutional.

Children and the adults who mistreat them « LewRockwell.com Blog

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, custody, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, federal crimes, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on June 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm

June 27, 2009

Children and the adults who mistreat them

Posted by Ryan W. McMaken on June 27, 2009 12:04 AM | Post a civil, substantive, and intelligent comment

In the spirit of my rant from June 14, I’d now like to draw your attention to this fellow. As I’ve noted before, adults who complain about youths being insufficiently in awe of their elders should ask themselves if they’ve done anything to actually command the respect of young people in the first place. These days, the answer is usually “no.”

And the answer is “no” because of people like the one in the linked photo (or at least what he represents). Kunstler’s commentary on the subject sums it up quite well. What passes for an adult in America today is really just an overgrown child who apparently is incapable of even dressing himself in a way that doesn’t invite an outpouring of contempt.

I’m stealing from Karen De Coster on the overall theme here, but I couldn’t help but dwell just a little bit on how American adults have degenerated into a race of obese, risibly-dressed caricatures of six-year-olds who spend their days fiddling with overpriced gadgets and other useless playthings.

My larger point, however, is to draw this back to an examination of how the behavior of “adults” amounts to mistreatment and exploitation of the young. Adults owe it to the young to act like, well, adults. An adolescent who is surrounded by contemptible adults will ultimately hold adults in contempt, but most unfortunate is the fact that the adolescent will grow up without having the slightest clue about what it means to be an adult.

Did Junior’s parents get divorced because they didn’t feel “fulfilled?” Did little Sally’s mom bring home a lot of guys to “spend the night” while she was growing up?  Did Bobby learn from Dad that you always spend every dime you make on a bunch of useless trinkets like trampolines and jet skis and RVs? Did Jenny learn from Mom that getting a weekly mini-pedi is anything other than a complete waste of money?

Sadly, the answer to these questions is usually yes in America today, so the same adults who now have the audacity to complain about the younger generation are the same ones who taught the youth to behave like a bunch of narcissistic, promiscuous spendthrifts.

Add to this the fact that the Baby-Boomers have essentially destroyed this nation with their endless profligacy, navel-gazing, and disregard for all things decent, and we end up in a situation where the message for future Americans can only be one thing: “you’re screwed.”

The youth get to pay the crushing taxes that will support the old, and they get to fight the wars that the geezers started, and all the while, the wizened lips of the elders continually whine about the young!  Only a generation that thought Jonathan Livingston Seagull was actually a good book could muster up the lack of self-awareness that is necessary for such chutzpah.

Children and the adults who mistreat them « LewRockwell.com Blog.

Mothers Act Fuels Multibillion Dollar Industry – Part 1 of 3

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Domestic Relations, Family Rights, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Freedom, Liberty, Marriage, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on June 27, 2009 at 5:03 pm

April 7, 2009. By Evelyn Pringle //

Motherhood has fallen prey to the psycho-pharmaceutical complex. If new legislation known as the Mother’s Act becomes law, the drugging of infants through pregnant and nursing mothers will no doubt increase.

Congress has rightfully refused to pass this bill for eight years. The official title is currently the “Melanie Blocker Stokes Mom’s Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research, and Support for Postpartum Depression Act of 2009.” This is S. 324.

Child DruggingThe legislation was introduced in the House during the 110th Congress on January 4, 2007, by Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush and later reintroduced into both bodies of the new Congress in January 2009, after the bill died in the Senate last year.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez from New Jersey, home to a large number of drug companies, and Richard Durbin (D-IL) are the main sponsors of the bill in the Senate.

In a March 30, 2009 speech on the House floor, Congressman Rush identified the target of this piece of legislation when he claimed that, “60 to 80 percent of new mothers experience symptoms of postpartum depression while the more serious condition, postpartum psychosis, affects up to 20 percent of women who have recently given birth.”

After the House voted to pass the legislation on that day, the Congressman stated: “H. R. 20 will finally put significant money and attention into research, screening, treatment and education for mothers suffering from this disease.”

However, he only mentions screening and treatment for postpartum depression. The true goal of the promoters of this Act is to transform women of child bearing age into life-long consumers of psychiatric treatment by screening women for a whole list of “mood” and “anxiety” disorders and not simply postpartum depression.

Enough cannot be said about the ability of anyone with a white coat and a medical title to convince vulnerable pregnant women and new mothers that the thoughts and feelings they experience on any given day might be abnormal.

The constant watching and barrage of questions such as are you depressed, are you anxious, are you moody, are you fearful of motherhood, are you sleeping well, are there changes in your eating habits, will predictably have the net effect of convincing many women that normal thoughts and emotions are a sign of mental disorders.

In the March 13, 2008 NewsWithViews article, “Branding Pregnancy as a Mental Illness,” Byron Richards writes:

“The Mothers Act has the net affect of reclassifying the natural process of pregnancy and birth as a mental disorder that requires the use of unproven and extremely dangerous psychotropic medications (which can also easily harm the child). The bill was obviously written by the Big Pharma lobby and its passage into law would be considered laughable except that it is actually happening.”

While mania, psychosis, agitation, hostility, anxiety, confusion, depression and suicidality are often cited as “symptoms” of mental illness, many of the same exact “symptoms” are listed as side effects on the warning labels for antidepressants, antipsychotics and anticonvulsants.

All of these drugs are now being prescribed to treat the “mood” and “anxiety” disorders that women will be screened for if the Act becomes law. In the case of pregnant women, no psychiatric drug has been FDA approved as safe for use.

The newly recruited customers will be stigmatized for life with labels of the most serious forms of mental illness simply because they are unlucky enough to become pregnant in the United States, where serious disorders lead to major profits from the prescribing of multiple classes of psychotropic drugs.

On September 1, 2008, Medical News Today ran a headline for a study that stated: “Americans Show Little Tolerance For Mental Illness Despite Growing Belief In Genetic Cause.” The study by University of Pennsylvania sociology professor Jason Schnittker showed that while more Americans believe that mental illness has genetic causes, the country is no more tolerant of the mentally ill than it was 10 years ago.

The study explored tolerance in terms of: unwillingness to live next door to a mentally ill person, having a group home for the mentally ill in the neighborhood, spending an evening socializing with a mentally ill person, working closely with such a person on the job, making friends with someone with a mental illness or having a mentally ill person marry into the family.

Multi-billion dollar industry

In an article for AlterNet on June 18, 2008, Dr Bruce Levine, author of the book, “Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic,” explains how the psycho-pharmaceutical cartel works. “Mental health treatment in the United States is now a multibillion-dollar industry,” he reports, “and all the rules of industrial complexes apply.”

“Not only does Big Pharma have influential psychiatrists… in their pocket, virtually every mental health institution from which doctors, the press, and the general public receive their mental health information is financially interconnected with Big Pharma.”

“The American Psychiatric Association, psychiatry’s professional organization, is hugely dependent on drug company grants, and this is also true for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and other so-called consumer organizations.”

“Harvard and other prestigious university psychiatry departments take millions of dollars from drug companies, and the National Institute of Mental Health funds researchers who are financially connected with drug companies.”

Mother’s Act – infant |LawyersandSettlements.com.

About Equal Justice – or more often its Absence

In Family Rights on June 26, 2009 at 11:37 pm

“It was the boast of Augustus that he found Rome of brick and left it of marble. But how much nobler will be the sovereign’s boast when he shall have it to say that he found law dear and left it cheap; found it a sealed book and left it a living letter; found it the patrimony of the rich and left it the inheritance of the poor; found it the two-edged sword of craft and oppression and left it the staff of honesty and the shield of innocence.”

– Henry Peter Brougham, Lord Chancellor of England, 1845


“Loyalty to the principles upon which our Government rests positively demands that the equality before the law which it guarantees to every citizen should be justly and in good faith conceded in all parts of the land”

– President Grover Cleveland, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1893


“Any man who seeks to deny equality among all his brothers betrays the spirit of the free and invites the mockery of the tyrant.”

– President Dwight David Eisenhower, Inaugural Address, 1953


“The first duty of society is justice.”

– Alexander Hamilton, ,


“All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”

– President Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801


“Equal and exact justice to all persons of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political…freedom of person under the protection of the law; and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps…. They should be the creed of our political faith — the text of civil instruction – the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust.”

– President Thomas Jefferson, ,


“The poor man looks upon the law as an enemy, not as a friend. For him the law is always taking something away.”

– Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Law Day Speech, May 1, 1964


“Helplessness does not stem from the absence of theoretical rights. It can stem from an inability to assert real rights. The tenants of slums, and public housing projects, the purchasers from disreputable finance companies, the minority group member who is discriminated against — all these may have legal rights which–if we are candid–remain in the limbo of the law.”

– Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Law Day Speech, May 1, 1964


“The great essential to our happiness and prosperity is that we adhere to the principles upon which the Government was established and insist upon their faithful observance. Equality of rights must prevail….[T]he integrity of the courts, and the orderly administration of justice must continue forever the rock of safety upon which our Government securely rests.”

– President William McKinley, Inaugural Address, 1897


“As lawyers, our first responsibility is, of course, to see that the legal profession provides adequate representation for all people in our society. I would suggest there is no subject which is more important to the legal profession, that is more important to this nation, than…the realization of the ideal of equal justice under law for all.”

– President Richard Nixon, Speech to the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, October 1962


“The American people stand firm in the faith which has inspired this Nation from the beginning. We believe that all men have a right to equal justice under law and equal opportunity to share in the common good.”

– President Harry S. Truman, Inaugural Address, 1949


“Justice, sir, is the great interest of man on this earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together.”

– Daniel Webster, , September 12, 1845


“Justice, and only justice, shall always be our motto.”

– President Woodrow Wilson, Inaugural Speech, March 14, 1913


“The feelings with which we face this new age of right and opportunity sweep across our heartstrings like some air out of God’s own presence, where justice and mercy are reconciled and the judge and the brother are one.”

– President Woodrow Wilson, Inaugural Speech, March 14, 1913


“The firm basis of government is justice, not pity. These are matters of justice. There can be no equality of opportunity, the first essential of justice in the body politic, if men and women and children be not shielded in their lives, their very vitality, from the consequences of great industrial and social processes which they can not alter, control, or singly cope with.”

– President Woodrow Wilson, Inaugural Speech, March 14, 1913


“The first duty of law is to keep sound the society it serves.”

– President Woodrow Wilson, Inaugural Speech, March 14, 1913


“Justice has nothing to do with expediency.”

– President Woodrow Wilson, , February 26, 1916


We cannot believe that the construction we have put upon this section will result in any practical hardship, or that the courts will have any difficulty in commanding the services of able and conscientious members of the bar, when such services are required for the protection of the poor and defenseless, whose rights or wrongs are the subjects of judicial inquiry in civil actions. The eager desire of young practitioners to take part in the exciting contests of the bar; the opportunity afforded to the ambitious to achieve reputation by a display of forensic talent; and the higher motives supplied by feelings of humanity and benevolence will, as we believe, in every case, secure a prompt response to the appointment of the court where the gratuitous services of an attorney are called for.”

– Indiana Supreme Court, Bd. of Commissioners vs. Pollard, 153 Ind. 351 , 1899