THE SCARLET "N:" GRANDPARENT VISITATION STATUTES THAT BASE STANDING ON NON-INTACT FAMILY STATUS VIOLATE THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT

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THE SCARLET "N:" GRANDPARENT VISITATION STATUTES THAT BASE STANDING ON NON-INTACT FAMILY STATUS VIOLATE THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT Powered By Docstoc
					THE SCARLET "N:" GRANDPARENT VISITATION STATUTES THAT BASE STAND
Karen J McMullen
St. John's Law Review; S
				
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Description: Grandparent visitation statutes implicate the Fourteenth Amendment in two ways: the substantive due process rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children in as much as parents' decisions are challenged, and the right to equal protection because many grandparent visitation statutes differentiate among parents based upon family status. This article argues that statutes that allow grandparents to petition for visitation with children in specified non-intact families but do not grant such rights to grandparents seeking visitation with children in intact nuclear families violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The article presents an overview of the current state of grandparent visitation statutes and gives examples of typical discriminatory statutes. It determines that because the statutory classifications result in infringement of parents' fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children, the classifications must be strictly scrutinized. The article argues that discriminatory grandparent visitation statutes that classify parents based on familial status should be held unconstitutional.
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