34 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 39: 1 2019]
matters,128 as well as juvenile justice matters in both the Supreme Court129 and various lower
Through its submissions to courts in various briefs filed over the years, NACC revealed
itself as appropriately sensitive to overreaching by government officials in the name of advancing
the interests of children. Thus, NACC has been comfortable arguing to courts that, “in recognition
of the fundamental role played by families in children’s lives, [NACC] supports their preservation
and opposes laws that would undermine their stability.”131 Similarly, in its amicus brief filed in
Troxel v. Granville,132 NACC argued that the Washington statute authorizing “any local judge” to
“requir[e] a mother to ‘confer’ with her children’s paternal grandparents . . . about how and when
to tell the children about their biological father’s suicide. . .without a preliminary inquiry into the
nature of the person’s relationship to the child or any finding that the child will be otherwise
seriously disadvantaged” should be held unconstitutional as an infringement of “fundamental
rights of children and their parents to family privacy and autonomy under the due process clause
of the 14th Amendment.”133
NACC argued in its Troxel brief that the statute “strikes at the heart of longstanding
common law and constitutional principles that protect parental autonomy and ensure that a child
will not become ‘the mere creature of the State.’”134 NACC explained that statutes that “allow
courts to arrogate to themselves the right to override routine parental decisions,” wrongfully
intrude on the privacy of the family.135 Citing Stanley v. Illinois,136 the NACC brief explained that
“court action on behalf of a non-parent based on an ill-defined ‘best interests of children’ test is an
impermissible burden on parents and on the liberty interests of children to a parent and a measure
547 U.S. 813 (siding with Indiana –supporting laws making it easier to introduce out of court statements of children);
see Giles, 554 U.S. 353 (Confrontation clause requirements should not apply strictly to children’s testimony).
128 See generally Demiraj v. Holder, 631 F.3d 194, 197 (5th Cir. 2011), opinion vacated, appeal dismissed, No. 08-
60991, 2012 WL 2051799 (5th Cir. May 31, 2012) (persecution on account of family membership counts for asylum
seekers; D.B. v. Cardall, 826 F.3d 721 (4th Cir. 2016) (unaccompanied minor child immigration case). See also Pierre
v. Holder, 738 F. 3d 39 (2d Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 135 S.Ct 58 (2014).
129 See, e.g., Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005) (executing juveniles violates the Constitution); Graham v.
Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010) (life without possibility of parole for juvenile convicted of non-homicide is
unconstitutional); J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 564 U.S. 261 (2011) (considerations of a child’s age must be taken into
account when applying Miranda v. Arizona); Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012) (automatic sentence of juvenile
to life without possibility of parole was unconstitutional); Montgomery v. Louisiana, (136 S.Ct. 718 (2016) (holding
that Miller v. Alabama is retroactive).
130 See, e.g., Kelsey v. Florida, 206 So.3d 5 (2016) (meaningful opportunity for juvenile to seek review of lengthy
adult criminal sentence;); In re C.S., 115 874 N.E.2d 1177 (Ohio 2007) (juvenile had right to counsel in delinquency
proceeding); In re V.A., 50 A.3d 610 (N.J. 2012) arguing for judicial review of waiver decision from juvenile to adult
criminal court). See also Flores v. Meese, 681 F. Supp. 665 (C.D. Cal. 1988), aff'd sub nom. Flores by Galvez-Maldonado v. Meese, 942 F.2d 1352 (9th Cir. 1991), rev'd sub nom. Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292 (1993) (challenge
to practice of strip-searching juveniles held by immigration officials).
131 NACC Amicus Brief filed In Support of Petitioner in Pierre v. Holder, cert. denied, 135 S.C. 38 (2014) at 4.
132 Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000).
133 Brief filed for Robert C. Fellmeth et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents at 2, Troxel v. Granville at 2,
Summary of Argument, 530 U.S. 57 (2000) (No. 99-138) [hereinafter Troxel Brief].