Parental Rights in Connecticut
Connecticut Parental Rights News
Dear Champion of Parental Rights in Connecticut, In recent months, bills have been passed or introduced in several states, including California, New York, and North Carolina, that would remove all exemptions from the government-mandated vaccination schedule except in a few specific medical cases. This removes from parents the fundamental right to make the best informed…
Connecticut State Law and Parental Rights
Connecticut does not have a state statute that explicitly defines and protects parental rights as fundamental rights.
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Connecticut Courts and Parental Rights
Affirmed (Strict Scrutiny Applied)
In Roth v. Weston, 789 A.2d 431 (2002), the Connecticut Supreme Court said: "[W]e conclude that, consistent with the [U.S. Supreme] Court's determination [in Troxel v. Granville] that a parent's interest in the care, custody and control over his or her children is "perhaps one of the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by [the] Court", the application of the strict scrutiny test is required to any infringement it may suffer.... [W]hen a statutory classification . . . affects a fundamental personal right, the statute is subject to strict scrutiny and is justified only by a compelling state interest." (cleaned up).
However, in some contexts, the Connecticut Supreme Court has declined to extend this same level of protection. For example, in Leebaert ex rel. Leebaert v. Harrington, 193 F. Supp. 2d 491, 498 (D. Conn. 2002), a case dealing with parental rights and public school instruction, the Connecticut Supreme Court said:
"Supreme Court precedent is less clear with regard to the appropriate standard of review of parental rights claims. However, the Second Circuit has concluded that a parental rights challenge to a school's mandatory community service requirement warranted only rational basis review...Troxel does not establish a different rule requiring strict scrutiny of parental challenges to educational policies of public schools."