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Children’s time: the real issue in grandparents’ rights case

by Dahlia Lithwick FindLaw Contributor Special to CNN Interactive June 23, 2000 Web posted at: 12:20 p.m. EST (1620 GMT) (FindLaw) — Much of the commentary about Troxel v. Granville — the so-called grandparents’ rights case decided in the Supreme Court in June — has focused on what the modern “family” means, both practically and as a matter of constitutional law. This question has become more difficult as non-traditional households boom, and two-parent-heterosexual-stain-removing-mom households decline. In the 1950s, grandparents who sought visitation would have been looked upon as odd — perhaps even a bit tetched. Now, however, it’s common for non-parents to seek visitation and even custody. (Indeed, under the first lady’s theory, even an entire village might have the right to visitation.) This sea change is partly due to the expansion of our definition of family. Which is why the holding in Troxel — that grandparents cannot visit their grandchildren over their mother’s objection — has had national resonance. But it’s not the only reason. Troxel was not just about redefining family. It was also about our society’s increasing obsession with time, and our lack of it. As time with children becomes more rare and more precious, it’s no surprise that adults have started battling over it – and taking their fights all the way the Supreme Court. Splitting the baby’s time At its heart, Troxel was a fight over a unique commodity: children’s time. The precise amount of time at issue was 1,200 hours per year — the difference between the amount of visitation the girls’ paternal grandparents sought, and the amount their mother was willing to...

America’s Child Death Shame

Published: 17 October 2011 Last updated at 07:35 ET, BBC © 2011 “Every five hours a child dies from abuse or neglect in the US. The latest government figures show an estimated 1,770 children were killed as a result of maltreatment in 2009. A recent congressional report concludes the real number could be nearer 2,500.“  “Sixty-six children under the age of 15 die from physical abuse or neglect every week in the industrialised world. Twenty-seven of those die in the US – the highest number of any other country.“ “Over the past 10 years, more than 20,000 American children are believed to have been killed in their own homes by family members. That is nearly four times the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.“ “America’s Death Shame,” was seen on BBC World News affiliates, including PBS and NPR stations in most American cities. The nature of the broadcast is about the magnitude of child abuse — and particularly child-abuse-related deaths — in America. See the full article at BBC ©...
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