Okay, “get the government out of marriage” makes a nice slogan, with a libertarian-sounding ring to it. But what happens on contact with legal reality, where countless existing legal relations are predicated on marriage’s functional role as an on/off switch as opposed to a sliding continuum of statuses customized by private contract? [Scott Shackford, Reason]
Also on the marriage question, I have a new blog post at Cato recapitulating why social conservatives are deluding themselves if they imagine the GOP can use the issue to harvest many new black votes.
Yet more: video of a Friday Cato panel in which I join Mary Bonauto of GLAD, Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute, and Kathryn Lehman of Holland & Knight; I talk about how public opinion on same-sex marriage is increasingly boxing in the national Republican Party, and how it might bid to get out of the box.
William Marotta and the recipient of his donation signed an agreement that he would have neither rights nor obligations with respect to any offspring that resulted. But the state of Kansas says that shouldn’t insulate him from paying child support for the three-year-old daughter on whose behalf the state picked up $6,000 in medical bills unpaid by the mother, who had fallen on hard times. [Topeka Capital-Journal, Huffington Post]
Canine custody, that is: Craig Dershowitz says he’s spent $60,000 suing his ex-girlfriend over who will get their dog. “It’s worth it,” he says. [NY Post via Elie Mystal, Above the Law]
A proposed Michigan law would apply legal scrutiny to men’s motives for walking out of relationships. [Fathers and Families via Amy Alkon]
“I only dabble in family law with my reproductive technology work, but my experience with the various conferences I attend has led me to believe that the number of heterosexual men who primarily write and teach in the area and have joined the academy in the last 10 years or so is extremely small, and even when I teach family law topics I can feel myself performing my sexuality to some extent as if it were a ritual to get access or credibility.” [Glenn Cohen, Prawfsblawg]
“A B.C. man who was abandoned as a teenager is being sued by his elderly mother for parental support…. Shirley [Anderson], who has not had a relationship with Ken or his two siblings for decades, is asking for $750 per month in support from each of them.” Like some American states, British Columbia retains a law on its books requiring grown children to support their parents in case of destitution. [CBC]
A court has dismissed the Illinois action, saying that to let such cases proceed “could potentially open the floodgates to subject family childrearing to … excessive judicial scrutiny and interference.” [Chicago Tribune/SLT; Volokh]
A couple says the infant they adopted from an Indiana birthmother in 2006 displays severe neurological deficits. They’re suing their lawyers for $5 million, saying more should have been done to warn them. [Gothamist, New York Post]
“Under a proposal submitted last Monday by the Civil Affairs Ministry to China’s State Council, adult children would be required by law to regularly visit their elderly parents. If they do not, parents can sue them.” ["China Might Force Visits to Mom and Dad," New York Times]
The defendant wasn’t at trial and didn’t have a lawyer, and plans to appeal; the judgment might as well be for $73 gazillion, as the ex-husband is already in contempt of court for failure to pay spousal support. (Greensboro News-Record March 18 and March 17 via Volokh). We’ve been covering the issue for years, as a click on the tags will reveal.