Parental Rights in Nebraska
Nebraska Parental Rights News
Nebraska State Law and Parental Rights
Nebraska does not have a state statute that explicitly defines and protects parental rights as fundamental rights.
June 2018: A bill that will "prohibit courts from denying legal or physical custody of children based upon the disability of one of the parents" was signed into law.
April 2018: A Nebraska bill that would possibly have allowed schools to submit children to mental health screenings without first notifying parents was successfully vetoed.
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Nebraska Courts and Parental Rights
Parental rights are affirmed as fundamental rights deserving of strict scrutiny in Nebraska Supreme Court case precedent, but contrary court precedent also exists. The state of parental rights in Nebraska’s courts, therefore, is unclear.
- Hamit v. Hamit, 715 N.W.2d 512, 527 (Neb. 2006) (holding that even though Troxel "refrained from announcing the level of scrutiny it was applying," "we conclude that given the fundamental nature of the parental rights that are claimed to have been intruded upon by the grandparent visitation statutes, a strict scrutiny level of analysis is appropriate").
- Douglas County v. Anaya, 694 N.W.2d 601, 607 (Neb. 2005) ("It is true that "the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents." However, the Court has never held that parental rights to childrearing as guaranteed under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment must be subjected to a strict scrutiny analysis. See Troxel. "[T]he Supreme Court has yet to decide whether the right to direct the upbringing and education of one's children is among those fundamental rights whose infringement merits heightened scrutiny." Pierce and Yoder do not support an inference that parental decision-making requires a strict scrutiny analysis") (internal citations omitted).