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CRC Committee Temporarily Postpones Grandparents’ Rights Amendment

December 12th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
A decades long over grandparents rights remains in limbo after a proposed constitutional amendment expanding the rights of grandparents was temporarily postponed by a Constitutional Revision Committee Tuesday morning.
Currently, there are only two scenarios where grandparents can qualify for visitation rights with a grandchild. Both parents have to be dead or near dead, or one has to be dead and the other convicted of a felony.
The proposed amendment would allow a court to grant visitation rights if the state determines its in the best interest of the child.
“The compelling state interest puts the burden on the grandparents to show why the court should intervene in this case… to say there must be intervention because there is a danger or a demonstrable harm,” said James Karl with Alienated Grandparents Anonymous.
The proposal was met with a litany of concerns, especially whether the state has the right to intervene in private family matters.
“The Supreme Court has called the oldest fundamental liberty recognized by the court is that of the right to be a parent,” said CRC Commissioner Lisa Carlton.
There are also concerns because the proposal gives grandparents elevated rights over other relatives like aunts and uncles.
The concerns were enough to guarantee the amendment wouldn’t survive the committee as written. Members temporarily postponed the proposal for future revision. Amendment Sponsor, Darryl Rouson says he’s open to negotiation.
“You live to fight another day and to fight more strongly. You just reload and come back. So at least it didn’t die today,” said Rouson.
Whether increased grandparents rights survives wont be known until the commission wraps up its work in May.
If the amendment does eventually pass it’s likely to run into legal challenges based on previous US Supreme Court decisions, which favor the parents ultimate control over their child.

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