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Supreme Court Rules Parents Have Greater Custody Rights than GrandparentsAired June 5, 2000 - 10:19 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Grandparents might be interested in a ruling today from the Supreme Court. Our Charles Bierbauer has details on that.
Charles, good morning.
CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN SR. WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, grandparents and parents, this is a case brought by a set of grandparents out in Washington state, petitioning for additional rights to visit with their grandchildren. This is a case where there was a death in the family, the grandparents' own son died. The mother of the children remarried and the grandparents felt they weren't seeing their grandchildren enough. But the mother said: I should be the one to decide this. And the Supreme Court has sided with the parents in this particular case, with the mother, saying that indeed, a parent should have the preeminent position in deciding how the children are brought up.
But the justices could not agree very handily, themselves, and in fact, found three different reasons: one being the due process accorded to the mother; another being an assertion that the state of Washington had no business writing such a broad law as Washington state had, which would have permitted just about anyone to petition for visitation rights with these children, who all live out in the state of Washington.
It's kind of an unfortunate situation because the parents and grandparents all live close by. And it's become a very unhappy family out there, in that respect, although the parents and grandparents all say they have the kids' interest at heart. And so apparently, did the justices here. Though as Justice Sandra Day O'Connor pointed out, the justices themselves had trouble agreeing on this particular complicated case.
Back to you.
KAGAN: Charles Bierbauer, thank you very much, from Washington.
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