Troxel v. Granville

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Troxel v. Granville
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Date decided June 5, 2000
Appealed from Washington Supreme Court


Granville (defendant), the mother of 2 children, never married Troxel, the father of her children.

The unmarried lovers with the 2 children together separated in 1991. Thereafter, father Troxel moved in with his parents (the grandparents of the 2 children). In 1993, father Troxel committed suicide.

Granville (defendant mother) told the Troxel grandparents that she wanted to limit their visitation rights to their grandchildren.

Procedural History

The Troxel grandparents sued Granville (mother) in the Skagit County, Washington, Superior Court seeking greater visitation.


Does the DPC (due process clause) permit a state to award visitation to a 3rd party over a fit parent's objection, based solely on a finding that it is in the child's best interest?


Justice Antonin Scalia argued in his dissent that SCOTUS lacks authority to declare protection for parental rights, because the Constitution doesn't enumerate any such rights.


No. The DPC (14th Amendment) doesn't permit a state to award child visitation to a 3rd party over a fit parent's objection.

The visitation statute that the state of Washington had in place at the time was un-constitutional.