Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Moore v. City of East Cleveland case brief

Moore v. City of East Cleveland

-Does a statute that forbids a grandmother to live with her grandchild because they do not fit the limited definition of family in the statute violate the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment?

Yes… the statute is unconstitutional.

• Rule: Freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the
liberties protected by the Due Process Clause.

The SCt has consistently acknowledged a private realm of family life which the state cannot enter. When the government intrudes on choices concerning family living arrangements, the SCt must examine carefully the importance of the governmental interests advanced and the extent to which they are served by the challenged regulation. The Constitution protects the sanctity of the family
because the institution of the family is deeply rooted in America’s history and tradition,
but it is not a tradition limited to respect for the bonds uniting the members of the nuclear

o City’s goals: parking, overcrowding. Is this legitimate? Court says no, because this
statute is not effective to serve these goals and other statutes serve these goals
o What else does the court consider? Adverse circumstances of this case: the mother
of one of the grandchildren had died, so it’s morally up to the rest of the family to
raise that child.
o Texas defines family in terms of homestead… a legal or moral responsibility on the
head of the family or rest of the family or corresponding dependence thereof.

Would a divorcee taking care of her mother-in-law be a family? Yes.

Would a father who has a son, but does not have custody, be a family? Yes.

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