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« The GOP is an Organized Crime Enterprise | Main | Creeping Third-Worldization of the U.S »

June 14, 2004


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Okay, I have yet to read the actual opinion, so I'm just shooting from the lip here.

But -- by holding that a non-custodial father lacks standing to bring such a question before the Court, the Supremes have in fact (I think) "create[d] controversy over a fundamental social issue." They have avoided the Constitutional question -- and so, I guess, demonstrated "judicial restraint" -- but in doing so, it seems, opened an even bigger can of worms.

If my wife and I were to divorce, who would have standing to raise significant church/state questions on behalf of my son? Would it come down to custody? If so, things get weird in a hurry -- my state (Washington) has jettisoned the traditional concept of "custody" in favor of a scheme based on the notion that, while one parent necessarily spends more time with the child/children than the other parent, "custody" is still a joint exercise.

Avoiding Constitutional issues is a nice goal, but where matters of federalism arise (as they must in any family law question), Constitutionalism becomes unavoidable. It seems to me that the Court merely avoided one difficult issue (Establishment Clause) by arousing an even more difficult issue (federalism and family relations). I'm not sure the bullet has actually been dodged.

mshvovshmhz yiaagof.

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