Friday, August 25, 2006
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has issued a thorough analysis of the constitutionality of its grandparent visitation statute, upholding the statute. The opinion proivdes a catalogue of the state court opinions regarding whether a finding of harm to the child is necessary before grandparents can be given visitation, concluding that it would join those states that do not require such a finding. A concurring opinion suggests that the time has come to analyze these cases from a child's rights perspective, providing a description of the historical development of children's rights and how that analysis should be applied in these cases. One justice dissenting, arguing that a showing of harm to the child should be required.
All in all, a fabulous case for summarizing the current state of the law of grandparent visitation and the underlying policies driving the different approaches.