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Family Law
Wayne State University Law School
Faupel, Marian

Children and the Law
I.                    I.                    Introduction: Newdow v. US Congress
a.       a.       Facts: Atheist dad w kid in public school; did not want pledge of allegiance said bc of “under god”; said kid injured by hearing it (coercive); uses free exercise clause (freedom of religion)
b.      b.      Interests
                                                               i.                                                                     i.      State: good citizen, Americanize
                                                             ii.                                                                   ii.      Parent: right to raise kid as parent sees fit
c.       c.       Cannot be forced to say pledge: Barnett case
d.      d.      Tests for Establishment Clause
                                                               i.                                                                     i.      Lemon Test – 3 prongs – fail any of the three, then fail
1.      1.      Secular purpose
2.      2.      Have a principal or primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion
3.      3.      Must not foster an excessive gov’t entanglement w religion
                                                             ii.                                                                   ii.      Endorsement Test: whether it seems the gov’t is endorsing religion from the standpoint of a reasonable person
                                                            iii.                                                                  iii.      Coercion Test: government supports or participates in religious gov’t, does not have to be physical coercion but placing children in a dilemma of participating or protesting
                                                           iv.                                                                 iv.      Court says case fails all three tests
e.       e.       Dissent
                                                               i.                                                                     i.      Use neutrality test: ok to have something religious as long as not favoring one religion over another
                                                             ii.                                                                   ii.      Feel good principle does not need const analysis
                                                            iii.                                                                  iii.      Look at kid’s interest
II.                 II.                 Personhood v. Protectionist Theories
a.       a.       Diff laws for kids
                                                               i.                                                                     i.      Unable to make some decisions (capacity)
                                                             ii.                                                                   ii.      Protection from self (maturity)
b.      b.      Alternative to chronological age is level of maturity
c.       c.       Why use chronological
                                                               i.                                                                     i.      Easier to administer
                                                             ii.                                                                   ii.      Less time involved

in bc child not doing for herself but for the parents; parents should be held accountable for their actions and here there is a danger of harm to the child
III.               III.               Child and the Family
a.       a.       Trilogy of cases
                                                               i.                                                                     i.      Meyer v. NE
1.      1.      Facts: Can only teach English until completed 8th grade; taught 10 yo German and convicted; infringement on 14th amend wrt liberty
2.      2.      Def of liberty (accd’g to ct): denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the rt of the indiv to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God accd’g to the dictates of his own conscience and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men
3.      3.      State legis can make all laws they want but after 14th amend, the fed cts can come in and say the law is bad
4.      4.      Due Process
a.       a.       Procedural: notice and hearing
b.      b.      Substantive: cannot be taken away bc so fundamental even w notice and hearing
5.      5.      Court says: parent has right to raise kids and teaching German is not harmful enough to state interest