Kendall v. Kendall and free speech
EDarr1776 at AOL.COM
Fri Dec 12 02:11:22 PST 1997
In a message dated 97-12-11 14:48:47 EST, VOLOKH at LAW.UCLA.EDU writes:
<< I'm curious what people think of the Free Speech Clause issues
raised by the court's action. >>
In Texas family law, now by statute, the court must consider first the welfare
of the child. Almost anything is technically possible in a suit affecting the
parent-child relationship. There is no presumption for the father, for the
mother, or for the children remaining in the custody of either parent.
The First Amendment rights of the parents would be a distant, later
consideration, if considered all.
In practice courts still tend to stick with families a lot more than they
sever the relationship. It's very much up to the judge.
We had a case in Dallas (whose outcome I do not know, regrettably) where the
relationship was severed after the father was convicted of abusing his
daughter, and two young children were removed from a Moslem household to a
fundamentalist Christian household. Several people tried to intervene to get
at least an Islamic home to take the kids (there were allegations that the
abuse, which was touching, while the father and daughter were in a relatively
public place, was not considered abuse in the Bosnian culture from which the
family were refugees). There were not good grounds to get the case opened up
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