Sunday, September 16, 2012

Michael H. v. Gerald D. case brief

 1. Case: Michael H. v. Gerald D. (US 1989)

2. Facts: A wife had an affair & had a child by the paramour. The paramour, not the husband, is the child's father. The paramour has lived w/the child & its mot & wants his paternity rights. The ct. denied the paramour parental rights.

3. Reasoning (per Scalia, J.):

a. To identify a fundamental right, we look at the most specific level at which a relevant tradition protecting or denying the asserted right can be identified. (Here; at the most specific level, have we historically protected a family relationship like the one between the paramour & the child? The answer is no.)

b. Threats to the unitary family unit must be struck down.

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