Friday, April 16, 2010

Cole v. Arkansas: Judge rules that it's unconstitutional for Arkansas to ban adoption and foster-care by unmarried couples

In Cole v. Arkansas, plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of an Arkansas statute that bans adoption and foster-care by unmarried couples. The judge in the case has just ruled that the law "infringes upon the fundamental right to privacy guaranteed to all citizens of Arkansas." (Arkansas News Bureau) JURIST links to the ruling and reports on the litigation that led to it.

1 comment:

Erik L. Smith said...

The ruling in Cole was erroneous and a bad example for other states. A law cannot unduly burden a fundamental right unless it prohibits a benefit one is entitled to. Otherwise, we simply have another tough choice in life. The cohabiting couples in Cole may have been "eligible" to adopt, but they were not "entitled" to adopt. Unlike the seventh day adventist who was eligible AND ENTITLED to unemployment benefits, no one is entitled to adopt--even if they are "eligible" to adopt. Nor does anyone have a constitutional right or fundamental need to adopt a child. Fundamental "need" differs from a fundamental "desire." Adopting, unlike putting food on one's table, is not so vital that one cannot live in liberty without it. The parties in Cole had only wishes and desires to adopt. No one owed them an adoption. The proper claim is one of equal protection, not the undue burden of a fundamental right. The Cole ruling is a perversion of constitutional law.

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