Parental Rights in Arizona

Arizona State Law

Protected

We did it! Thanks in part to your support, Arizona law now explicitly protects parental rights.

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 1-601:

A. The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children is a fundamental right.

B. This state, any political subdivision of this state or any other governmental entity shall not infringe on these rights without demonstrating that the compelling governmental interest as applied to the child involved is of the highest order, is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by a less restrictive means.

July 2018: A law now limits the situations in which children can be removed from their parents without a court order. It remains to be seen, though, if the law will indeed help limit needless removals.

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Arizona Courts

Protected Under Statute

While in Jackson v. Tangreen (2000), the Court of Appeals of Arizona found that "Troxel cannot stand for the proposition that [a state visitation statute] is necessarily subject to strict scrutiny,” the newer Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 1-601 explicitly requires strict scrutiny review.

Jackson v. Tangreen, 18 P.3d 100, 106 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2000):
"Troxel cannot stand for the proposition that [a state visitation statute] is necessarily subject to strict scrutiny" because "only Justice Thomas would have applied strict scrutiny to the statute in Troxel" and "[n]one of the other five opinions explicitly stated the level of scrutiny that it applied."