UC Law Journal


Developing a framework for analyzing children's rights issues is difficult due to the inherent tension between individual freedom and the traditional role of the family in society. The United States Supreme Court has failed to use a consistent framework in resolving conflicts among the child, parent, and the state. Because increasingly complex and controversial children's rights issues are arising, a consistent framework must be developed to assist courts adjudicating these conflicts. This Article proposes a methodology for resolving state-parent- child conflicts. This methodology reduces each state-parent-child conflict to either a state-parent or a state-child controversy. Under this framework, children are treated like adults in similar situations, unless an established reason exists for treating the child differently. Because the framework comports with judicial precedent and traditional notions of the role of the child, cases utilizing the proposed methodology will be decided in a more systematic, accurate, and predictable manner.

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