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This bill would codify as a fundamental right the liberty of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, care and welfare of the parent's child. Any infringement by the state must be the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling state interest that is not otherwise served.
See "Bill History" link below.
While the U.S. Supreme Court has historically recognized parental rights as fundamental, there has been some question about the appropriate standard of review in parental rights cases since the Court’s decision in Troxel v. Granville in 2000. This confusion has opened the door for erosion of parent rights.
The passage H.B. 855 would close this door in Pennsylvania by making certain that governmental infringement on this fundamental right must be the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling state interest. This puts into state statute the strict scrutiny standard of review—the strongest legal protection courts have given to our most fundamental rights.
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