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Preview: Comments on The Y Files: The Alito nomination

Comments on The Y Files: The Alito nomination





Updated: 2017-11-21T03:40:17.305-05:00

 









What interest of the husband's outweighs his wife'...

2005-11-03T15:31:00.000-05:00

What interest of the husband's outweighs his wife's right to privacy?

Let me answer with an question: what interest of the wife's outweighs the husband's right to have sex with whomever he pleases? And if the answer is "nothing", then why is adultery considered grounds for at-fault divorce?

This isn't a right-to-privacy issue. State-recognized marriages are legal contracts between two people in which both parties sacrifice some of their rights in exchange for a closer legal relationship. The answer to your question is, therefore, "most people think the state should only recognize marriage contracts if they include the proviso that the wife be honest about her abortions". A women whose right to privacy means more to her than an honest relationship with her partner can always refrain from getting married.



I am pretty surprised to see a Libertarian arguing...

2005-11-03T11:20:00.000-05:00

I am pretty surprised to see a Libertarian arguing for this kind of infringement of personal rights. If a husband has no right to interfere in his wife's pregnancy, what is the point of notification? "Ha ha, she's going to get an abortion and you can't stop her"? What interest of the husband's outweighs his wife's right to privacy?



WRB originally wrote...A man can't sign away his r...

2005-11-03T10:23:00.000-05:00

WRB originally wrote...

A man can't sign away his responsibilities. His sperm... his responsibility. Harkening back to a famous "Goreism," that's the controlling legal authority.

--------------------------------

Cathy Young replied...

If that was the law, would sperm banks ever find any donors? I'm quite positive that sperm bank contracts include an agreement that the sperm donor bears no responsibilities whatever.

---------------------------------

WRB's final thought...

Cath... I didn't just come up with my "theory" off the top of my head. (*SMILE*) Nor am I basing it just upon my "logic" vs. your "logic."

A few weeks ago this was the topic of discussion on the Curtis and Kuby radio show on WABC AM radio, NYC. I'm basically telling you what Kuby said and he was speaking as a lawyer, not a layman pundit.

Are you aware of the Pennsylvania case McKiernan v. Ferguson? If not, check it out.

The law is in a constant state of flux and the fact that we have 50 state high courts, 94 federal district courts, 12 regional circuit courts, and finally a U.S. Supreme Court that is constantly tweaking its own past decisions certainly complicates our discussion. (*SMILE*)

I'm not disagreeing with you when you write that sperm bank contracts include an agreement that the sperm donor bears no responsibilities whatsoever... but I am saying that all the "agreements" in the world won't stop a court from ruling as it pleases and frankly I agree with the logic of many courts that a man (or woman via egg donation) can't legally sign away the right of support owed to the CHILD resulting from the combination of sperm and egg. (*WINK*)

My bad in claiming "controlling legal authority!" (*SMILE*) Time will tell.



What a silly law! Of course a wife should tell he...

2005-11-03T00:52:00.000-05:00

What a silly law! Of course a wife should tell her husband she’s going to get an abortion. Likewise, a husband should probably mention to his wife that he’s decided to get a vasectomy, just in case she might find that interesting. Entering their anniversary date into his palm pilot is probably a prudent thing to do. Faking you know what during you know what doesn’t seem like a good long-term strategy to me.

But do we really need laws for these things?

Okay, so the good people of Pennsylvania thought they could promote marital bliss by passing such a law. What they failed to do is provide free, postage-paid post cards that women could send their husbands, with a picture of a fetus about to be aborted, captioned “Wish you were here!”

The Supreme Court has not yet discovered a silliness protection clause in the constitution. If they did, it would surely overturn half a century of their own decisions. So they strike the spousal notification down because it imposes an “undue hardship.” What kind of message does that send? Sorry, honey, I would have mentioned I was blowing all our savings on this new dining room set, but then I remembered the Supremes think spousal notification imposes an undue hardship!



adrienne, thanks for the kind words.I'm going to m...

2005-11-02T23:41:00.000-05:00

adrienne, thanks for the kind words.

I'm going to make a separate post on the fathers' issue, but for now...

Barry, I agree, of course, that biological differences play a huge role here. I'm not saying there is a simple answer, or any kind of answer at all. I will point out, however, that abortion and reliable birth control are arguably ways in which women's biological disadvantage is neutralized. We have also tried to neutralize it through laws -- for instance, forbidding employers to discriminate against women on the basis of pregnancy and childbirth.

Cathy: In other words, it seems that for a father to choose to deprive an already-born child of paternal support is illegal; for a mother, it's legal.

Barry: You're putting this in gendered terms, but that's misleading, because the actual laws you're describing are gender-neutral. To be more accurate, you'd have to say: It's illegal for a non-custodial parent to deprive a born child of support; but a custodial parent can legally choose not to collect child support, so long as the custodial parent isn't on welfare.


First of all, why is it all right for a custodial parent to make decisions that deprive her or his child of resources, but not all right for a non-custodial parent to do the same?

Secondly, you're right about ostensible gender neutrality. But haven't feminists long argued that an ostensibly gender-neutral law or policy is discriminatory if it has a disparate negative impact on women? If a corporation had a policy of firing any employee who became pregnant, surely it would not be okay just because it applied to both women and men!

Cathy: Also, what about cases of men who are misled into believing that their partner is using birth control? It's been known to happen.

Barry: To me, that seems similar to rape of a male victim, in terms of the father's obligation towards the child. If such a situation were proved beyond all legitimate doubt, I'd favor giving the father a one-time shot to give up all legal obligations and rights.


If the only issue is a child's need for resources, why does it make a difference that the father was deceived? As you said before, why should a child suffer for the mother's decisions? Sorry, but your attitude here reminds me a bit of the right-to-lifers who make an exception for rape and incest cases but feel that it's proper for women to have to "pay" for their pleasure if we're talking about consensual sex.

william, re sperm banks:

As for the first point... I'm pretty sure you're wrong. Legally that is.

A man can't sign away his responsibilities. His sperm... his responsibility. Harkening back to a famous "Goreism," that's the controlling legal authority.


If that was the law, would sperm banks ever find any donors? I'm quite positive that sperm bank contracts include an agreement that the sperm donor bears no responsibilities whatever.



Rainsborough said... The Founders MEANT for the "w...

2005-11-02T23:35:00.000-05:00

Rainsborough said...

The Founders MEANT for the "will of the people of the United States" to be thwarted in certain matters - specifically when the national will is in conflict with the will of the citizens of a specific state[?]

As when the people of South Carolina voted themselves out of the union?

A cheap shot[?]

--------------------------------

WRB replies...

A cheap shot? No! Not at all! Not exactly what I was thinking of, but fair question.

History is written by the victors and I for one am quite happy that the North won the Civil War. That said... as a constitutional question... I've always wondered how the Founders would have responded to the question, "May a state secede from the Union?"

(Since the Founders would no doubt have had various opinions, let me rephrase to say I wonder what the breakdown of opinion would have been.)

Frankly... I have no idea what the answer is. I know that Andrew Jackson faced down threats of secession. Did he have the constitutional authority to make good on his threats had action been necessary? Is secession the same as "rebellion?"

Hey... good point... thanks for bringing it up.

As for less extreme and theoretical examples of my point...

(*SMILE*)

You have heard of the 10th Amendment... right?

(*GRIN*)

Seriously, Rainsborough, you must understand that the intent of the Founders was to create a workable but yet not all powerful federal government. I'm not going to point to each and every example in the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and subsequent Amendments, but this is American History 101.

--------------------------------

Rainsborough said...

The more basic question is whether originialists are objective, dispassionate students of the Constitution (who, incidentally, disagree among themselves on both substance and process) and the rest of us are arbitrarily imposing our preferences on others.

--------------------------------

WRB replies...

The answer to the question is...

(*DRUM ROLL*)

Basically yes!

(*SMILE*)

--------------------------------

Rainsborough said...

The essential point is that people disagree, deeply and passionately, about all the issues, substantive and procedural, raised in your missive, and about many others. When they disagree, what's the fairest way to resolve the dispute? I say, by majority rule

---------------------------------

WRB replies...

Yes, Rainsborough, I understand what YOU are saying. (*SMILE*) I just don't think that this is what the Founders had in mind. We're a representative Republic, not a direct Democracy. We have a Constitution that is the law of the land. Our Constitution gives us the Amendment process so that if we don't like the Constitution as is we the people can change it. We elect legislators to legislate, presidents to serve as chief executives, and judges to judge WITHIN the law. That's the way it's meant to be and that's the way it should be.

---------------------------------

Rainsborough said...

--which works out in practice to mean, by a legislature elected by the people. You say, by a majority of nine appointees, accountable, once confirmed, to nobody.

--------------------------------

WRB replies...

Now I've lost you. (*SCRATCHING HEAD*) Which side of the debate are you on again? (*SMILE*)

Anyway... I think we've pretty much beat this one to death. Plus... Cathy seems to think we're overdoing it. (*WINK*)



The Founders MEANT for the "will of the people of ...

2005-11-02T22:35:00.000-05:00

The Founders MEANT for the "will of the people of the United States" to be thwarted in certain matters - specifically when the national will is in conflict with the will of the citizens of a specific state.

As when the people of South Carolina voted themselves out of the union?

A cheap shot. The more basic question is whether originialists are objective, dispassionate students of the Constitution (who, incidentally, disagree among themselves on both substance and process) and the rest of us are arbitrarily imposing our preferences on others.
The essential point is that people disagree, deeply and passionately, about all the issues, substantive and procedural, raised in your missive, and about many others. When they disagree, what's the fairest way to resolve the dispute? I say, by majority rule--which works out in practice to mean, by a legislature elected by the people. You say, by a majority of nine appointees, accountable, once confirmed, to nobody.



ampersand said:But that's the mother's choice, not...

2005-11-02T21:19:00.000-05:00

ampersand said:

But that's the mother's choice, not the child's. It's unjust to punish the child for a choice the mother made, isn't it?

Ugh. That sounds *just* like pro-life rhetoric. So much so, it's scary.

Still, glad to "see" you again, Ampersand. I'm glad you survived the implosion of the late lamented Ms. boards.

I'm so psyched you have a blog, Cathy! Yay, you've always been one of my favorite "pundits" because you're so damn rational and reasonable. Even if you aren't a Democrat.



Gentlemen: this debate seems to be degenerating in...

2005-11-02T18:52:00.000-05:00

Gentlemen: this debate seems to be degenerating into a squabble over who said what, which is never a good thing.

I hope to be able to add more on the substantive points, a bit later.



Rainsborough said... I think that in regard to rep...

2005-11-02T18:16:00.000-05:00

Rainsborough said... I think that in regard to reproductive choice, public policy should be pedocentric--should put the interests of the child first.------------------------------WRB replies...Easier said than done! The first problem is defining an independent human life. Congress refuses to do this.------------------------------Rainsborough said... If a woman judges that a child can't be cared for well, that conclusion should be respected. ------------------------------WRB replies...That's one school of thought. The other is that society as a whole - through law - should make the decision. Again... the crux of the problem is deciding when a fetus is a "child" in the sense of having civil rights that the government is ultimately in charge of safeguarding and enforcing.Obviously the tension lies (lays???) between respecting the rights of the woman and the rights of the fetus/child/whatever.------------------------------Rainsborough said... (If the father when frustrated throws lamps and smashes pictures, her judgment is especially to be respected.)-------------------------------WRB replies...Nope. Gotta disagree with you there. That argument sidesteps the key question of when a fetus becomes a child in a legal sense.--------------------------------Rainsborough said... Since restrictions on access to abortion conduce to ill-cared-for children, I'm against them. --------------------------------WRB replies...I don't know about you, but I believe in individual rights, not group rights. Even if your stats are correct (which I'm certainly not willing to concede), if one takes the position that a fetus at some point before birth becomes a baby with civil rights... it's not a very compelling argument to say you're taking away the baby's civil rights (and indeed life!) for the baby's own good.-------------------------------Rainsborough said... Since Alito favors restrictions and would, when it comes to it, overrule a in his view non-superprecedential Roe, and that will result in yet further restrictions, I'm against his confirmation. -------------------------------WRB replies...You want judges to act as legislators. That's what it comes down to. I want judges to act as judges.While in the end I may not end up agreeing with every decision a Justice Alito (or Scalia... or Thomas) hands down, my main concern is not the wisdom of their policy prescriptions, but the integrity of their judicial decisions in keeping with the clear words and meaning of the Constitution as best they understand them.In other words... disagreement in good faith over what the Founders and writers of the various Amendments are acceptable and to be expected, but any judge willing to subvert the Constitution because they want their own policy prescriptions to be followed even if at odds with the Constitution should be impeached - not applauded.--------------------------------Rainsborough said... But I would concede that abortion is the sort of issue better resolved by legislatures than by courts.--------------------------------WRB replies...Do you mean "better decided, but if the legislature won't do its job the courts must step in?"With respect... we simply disagree.--------------------------------Rainsborough said... So also is the issue whether restrictions should be imposed on access to machine guns. I greatly fear judges who think their judgment on such issues should prevail over that of Congress. On this issue, Congress was acting in response to public opinion, and I think it arrogant of Alito to suppose that his preference should prevail over that of the public and the Congress. --------------------------------WRB replies...Alito certainly WASN'T substituting his personal preferences for that of Congress. He was saying the Congress didn't have the Constitution[...]



To Anonymous: By "constitutional mandate" I was re...

2005-11-02T17:23:00.000-05:00

To Anonymous:

By "constitutional mandate" I was refering to the High Court's duties in general. The "job" of the High Court so to speak. In my view persons appointed and confirmed to the bench should be first and foremost persons of intelligence, knowledge, and integrity.

Are you truly disagreeing with me???

No... Article 3 doesn't specifically call for nominees of intelligence, knowledge, and integrity... but I think it's fair to assume the Founders would be with me on this one. (*SMILE*) One might even go so far as to assert that where Article 3 speaks of "good Behaviour" this implies not just non-criminality, but competence - often linked to intelligence and knowledge. (*SMILE*)

Feel free to disagree... but I'm satisfied that I've made my position clear and that continually restating it achieves little.

I don't discount the value of varied experience and background. I'm just saying neither trumps intelligence, knowledge, and integrity. Diversity should compliment these other qualifications, not stand alone.

Frankly, "A," I've kinda lost track of what we're arguing about. (*GRIN*) I guess if you're saying that only a woman or minority should have been picked we're arguing about that. If you're saying a woman or minority might have been a better pick... that's a possibility.



Highly educated people tend to argue about abortio...

2005-11-02T15:34:00.000-05:00

Highly educated people tend to argue about abortion by analyzing semantics of choice. But in the real world of abortion, choice as we understand it is rare. Such pregnancies usually result not from the failure of properly implemented contraceptives, but because the people using them are too young, drunk, high, stupid or incompetent to use them correctly. People who use credit cards to buy things they know they can't afford aren't making the rational decision to go into debt, they just aren't thinking. People who use birth control sporadically or not at do not weigh the pros and cons and decide to get pregnant.

Most women who conceive children out of wedlock are not post- Enlightenment adults making rational choices for or against motherhood. Debating what constitutes "choice" may be intellectually stimulating in its own right, but it has little relevance to abortion.



William R. Barker You mentioned a "Constitutional ...

2005-11-02T15:12:00.000-05:00

William R. Barker
You mentioned a "Constitutional mandate" that is best served by highest level of the three characteristics you mentioned - neither Article 3 of the Consitution itself, nor Federalist 76 & 77 (via reference in 78) mention any mandate or qualifications along those lines. I don't know of a better place to look for such a mandate.

I don't suggest that the founders valued any of those factors more or less than having a breadth of experience - they were largely silent on qualifications, as they were mostly concerned with avoiding a tyrant. I do believe they would include "independence from the Executive" as a key qualification, however.

As to my note on the term "diversity" that you called a "slur" - I only intended to note that I was using the word in the sense of having varied experiences and qualities, not the business-speak sense where the term "diversity" has become, in some companies, a clumsy substitute for EEO, quota or Affirmative Action-type programs, some of which work very poorly.



I think that in regard to reproductive choice, pub...

2005-11-02T15:08:00.000-05:00

I think that in regard to reproductive choice, public policy should be pedocentric--should put the interests of the child first. If a woman judges that a child can't be cared for well, that conclusion should be respected. (If the father when frustrated throws lamps and smashes pictures, her judgment is especially to be respected.)Since restrictions on access to abortion conduce to ill-cared-for children, I'm against them. Since Alito favors restrictions and would, when it comes to it, overrule a in his view non-superprecedential Roe, and that will result in yet further restrictions, I'm against his confirmation.
But I would concede that abortion is the sort of issue better resolved by legislatures than by courts. So also is the issue whether restrictions should be imposed on access to machine guns. I greatly fear judges who think their judgment on such issues should prevail over that of Congress. On this issue, Congress was acting in response to public opinion, and I think it arrogant of Alito to suppose that his preference should prevail over that of the public and the Congress. The effect of his decision is not to leave it up to the will of the people of the various states, but to the thwart the will of the people of the United States. And he would do this on a whole range of issues, in the same way as judges did before 1937.
Judicial review is deeply undemocratic. But it's not going to go away, and hence one would be foolish and derelict not to oppose empowering a man whose policy preferences would have the result of imposing so much suffering on so many lives. (The lives of children, the lives of mothers, the lives of parents, the lives of immigrants, the lives of innocent detainees--the list grows quite long.)



Fair enough, "A." (*WINK*) As long as we're on the...

2005-11-02T14:41:00.000-05:00

Fair enough, "A." (*WINK*) As long as we're on the same page regarding appropriate and inappropriate. Apology freely offered.

As for Article 3... (*SCRATCHING MY HEAD*)... I'm not following. Please be more specific.

I'm also curious as to what in the Federalist Papers you seem convinced contradicts my ranking of intelligence, knowledge, and integrity over "diversity." Please... enlighten me. (*SMILE*)

Finally... while you're at it, "A," could you clarify what you meant when your wrote, "My "slur" is against "diversity" as used in corporate America as a substitute term for affirmative action programs."

For what it's worth, you have my word that I never "intentially miss the point." Perhaps what's clear to you (considering you're the one thinking and putting your thoughts on the blog) may not be clear to all readers. Just a thought... (*SMILE*)



William R. Barker said... "A" writes: I pretty cle...

2005-11-02T14:13:00.000-05:00

William R. Barker said...
"A" writes: I pretty clearly disassociated my use of the term "diversity" from the nonsense that sits on an alter.

WRB replies: The "nonsense" that sits on an alter??? I think I'll let that slur stand on its own. (And Cathy... please don't remove his - her? - post. I think readers deserve to know what sort of people they're conversing with.)



You seem to be missing the point. Maybe it's intentional. My "slur" is against "diversity" as used in corporate America as a substitute term for affirmative action programs. I presumed that was the "high alter" you referred to.
You misspelled altar as "alter" so I copied the error to make the reference more obvious.

It appears you had a knee-jerk response a perceived adversary's negative use of a quasi-religious term despite the fact that you used it exactly the same way.

Your answer to the substantive question is nonsense - it's better to pick a candidate with marginally more intelligence, knowledge or integrity because those are the "best predictors of fulfilling the Consitutional mandate"? Time to reread Article III, or better, the Federalist Papers.



"A" writes: "Ok" means acceptable, without particu...

2005-11-02T13:30:00.000-05:00

"A" writes: "Ok" means acceptable, without particularly exceeding any expectations. Congress functions just fine, regardless of how well you like the results.

WRB replies: We disagree. In fact... both the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate were all over the news last night basically making the charge. (*SMILE*) I could comment further, but this thread isn't the time nor place.

"A" writes: I pretty clearly disassociated my use of the term "diversity" from the nonsense that sits on an alter.

WRB replies: The "nonsense" that sits on an alter??? I think I'll let that slur stand on its own. (And Cathy... please don't remove his - her? - post. I think readers deserve to know what sort of people they're conversing with.)

"A" writes: My point is that there are many - a few dozen, at least - people qualified by measure of intelligence, knowledge and integrity to be a Justice. Tell us why selecting the individual highest on those three characteristics from the pool is better than selecting an individual from the pool who adds a unique perspective?

WRB replies: Because the job of the Supreme Court is to fulfill its constitutional mandate, and the best predicters that a man or woman will fulfill that mandate properly seem to me to be intelligence, knowledge, and integrity - gender, sexual orientation, color, religion or lack thereof, ideology aside.



William R. Barker said... Congress does o.k.? Man....

2005-11-02T12:28:00.000-05:00

William R. Barker said...

Congress does o.k.? Man... what's your definition of "o.k.?"

"Ok" means acceptable, without particularly exceeding any expectations. Congress functions just fine, regardless of how well you like the results.

I'm not one to worship on the high alter of "diversity." I'm far less concerned with diversity than I am with intelligence, knowledge, and integrity.

I pretty clearly disassociated my use of the term "diversity" from the nonsense that sits on an alter. My point is that there are many - a few dozen, at least - people qualified by measure of intelligence, knowledge and integrity to be a Justice. Tell us why selecting the individual highest on those three characteristics from the pool is better than selecting an individual from the pool who adds a unique perspective?



Though it's noteworthy that a mother can give a ba...

2005-11-02T12:10:00.000-05:00

Though it's noteworthy that a mother can give a baby up for adoption after birth, as well.

In most states, she can only do so without the father's permission if she claims that the father is unknown or unfindable. Some states (even those with "drop-off" laws) have procedures for searching for the father in such cases (taking out ads in the newspapers and the like), and if the father can be found he can prevent the adoption from going through.

Legally, women and men should be (and are, in most states) legal equals when it comes to giving up a child for adoption. Of course, fathers can't give birth and keep it a secret from the mother - but that's not because of unequal laws. We can and should make laws to try and make up for that (such as having the government search for the father), but nothing will make men and women identically situated in this regard.

She can go to a sperm bank and get artificially inseminated, upon signing a contract that relieves the sperm donor -- i.e. the biological father -- of all parental obligations.

Not unlike the contracts egg donors sign, relieving them of all parental obligations (and rights). And, in a more extreme way, not unlike the contracts surrogate mothers sign.

Of coure, neither of those is identical to sperm donation - biologically, it's simply not possible to create a child without major involvement from a woman, and the same isn't true for a sperm donor. But insofar as it's biologically possible, similar legal structures exist for both sexes.

She can deliberately choose not to collecting child support because she'd rather not have the father involved in the child's life and in her own...

Actually, she can only do this if she doesn't need welfare. If she applies for welfare, she's legally required to give up the father's name so the state can track him down and collect child support. (The same is true of single fathers who apply for welfare - they have to say who the mother is).

In other words, it seems that for a father to choose to deprive an already-born child of paternal support is illegal; for a mother, it's legal.

You're putting this in gendered terms, but that's misleading, because the actual laws you're describing are gender-neutral. To be more accurate, you'd have to say: It's illegal for a non-custodial parent to deprive a born child of support; but a custodial parent can legally choose not to collect child support, so long as the custodial parent isn't on welfare.

Of course, as you said, a woman might keep a child secret from his father, whereas the reverse never happens. But, again, that's biology; no law you pass will change the fact that men aren't the ones who get pregnant. (And what seems missing from the discussion here is that being the sex which gets pregnant carries substantial disadvantages, as well as advantages.)



Ampersand writes:Cathy, do you object to off-topic...

2005-11-02T12:06:00.000-05:00

Ampersand writes:

Cathy, do you object to off-topic or digressive comments on your blog? If so, let me know, and I'll stop it. (Personally, as long as it's interesting, I welcome digressions.)

----------------------------------

It's Cathy's blog... Cathy's choice... but with respect, while agreeing with Ampersand that interesting digressions are welcome, isn't this thread supposed to be about "The Alito Nomination?"

Abortion... abortion... abortion... JEEZUS!!! Why does every Supreme Court nomination have to get bogged down - centered - on abortion?

You know... there ARE other issues members of the U.S. Supreme Court deal with. (*SMILE*)



One of the "Anonymous'" writes:Congress does OK wi...

2005-11-02T11:59:00.000-05:00

One of the "Anonymous'" writes:

Congress does OK with a mix of lawyers, business types, community activists and actors.

----------------------------------

Congress does o.k.? Man... what's your definition of "o.k.?"

(*SMIRK*)

I'm not one to worship on the high alter of "diversity." I'm far less concerned with diversity than I am with intelligence, knowledge, and integrity.



Cathy Young writes:I'd like to point out at least ...

2005-11-02T11:44:00.000-05:00

Cathy Young writes:

I'd like to point out at least two things a woman can legally do that can deprive an already-born child of paternal resources.

(1) She can go to a sperm bank and get artificially inseminated, upon signing a contract that relieves the sperm donor -- i.e. the biological father -- of all parental obligations.

(2) She can deliberately choose not to collecting child support because she'd rather not have the father involved in the child's life and in her own -- either not inform him of the pregnancy, or tell him that she is willing to forgo child support if he promises not to assert his paternal rights. Obviously it's up to the man whether to accept such a bargain, but the point is, the mother has the legal right to offer it, and quite a few do.

In other words, it seems that for a father to choose to deprive an already-born child of paternal support is illegal; for a mother, it's legal.

---------------------------------

As for the first point... I'm pretty sure you're wrong. Legally that is.

A man can't sign away his responsibilities. His sperm... his responsibility. Harkening back to a famous "Goreism," that's the controlling legal authority.

The father - and mother - can sign any kind of contract they want... but it's the CHILD'S rights we're talking about and neither parent can legally sign those away.

As to Point 2... under the same logic... I wonder if the child himself could win a lawsuit against the father for support retroactively?

(Any attorney's reading? Thoughts? Opinions? Facts?)

As to your last point, Cathy - dead on, hon! Life ain't fair.



But I'd like to point out at least two things a wo...

2005-11-02T11:12:00.000-05:00

But I'd like to point out at least two things a woman can legally do that can deprive an already-born child of paternal resources.

(1) She can go to a sperm bank and get artificially inseminated, upon signing a contract that relieves the sperm donor -- i.e. the biological father -- of all parental obligations.

(2) She can deliberately choose not to collecting child support because she'd rather not have the father involved in the child's life and in her own -- either not inform him of the pregnancy, or tell him that she is willing to forgo child support if he promises not to assert his paternal rights. Obviously it's up to the man whether to accept such a bargain, but the point is, the mother has the legal right to offer it, and quite a few do.

In other words, it seems that for a father to choose to deprive an already-born child of paternal support is illegal; for a mother, it's legal.


These are not options for every woman; both take $$ or family support or both.

And there are cases where the father takes the child and the mother signs off her rights.