Our Peculiar Institution

To follow up on the international theme of last week, I’m including the following link to family court issues in the UK:


The title this week refers to the euphemism many Southerners in the early 19th century used to refer to slavery. It was an indirect admission that slavery violated many parts of the US Constitution but was nevertheless “ours”.
Judges in family court today routinely violate the 1st, 4th and 14th amendments and thus we can say that it is the 21st century’s “peculiar institution.”
In my Twitter entry this week (@jskidsmc) I coined the expression “Density is destiny” in regard to last week’s Amtrak tragedy. What makes the US most “peculiar” in regard to other developed nations is our low population density. This, combined with our great love of mobility and weaker extended family ties, puts the US family court system in a unique category globally.
This is most clearly seen in judges allowing a custodial parent to move far away from the other parent. Here in California move-aways are subject to eight “La Musga” criteria but they are often ignored by judges.
My own case involved a 720 mile move. It was within California but the same distance as Chicago-Arkansas or New York-South Carolina. To put it in an international context, imagine a young child regularly boarding a plane in London to “visit” her other parent in Milan, Italy-about 720 miles away. Peculiar indeed!

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