Don’t Mind the Kids; Liberal Judges Know Best

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled recently that children have an expectation of privacy at home and parents cannot eavesdrop on phone conversations.

The case involved 17-year-old Oliver Christensen, who told his 14-year-old girlfriend, Carmen Dixon, that he mugged an old lady and stole her purse after knocking her to the ground. Carmen's mother was listening on another phone line and promptly called the police. Oliver was convicted of a felony and served nine months in prison before the judges overturned the conviction, saying: "The right to individual privacy holds fast even when the individuals are teenagers." The court also said the mother was acting as an agent for the police.

Say what? So now parents in Washington State are powerless to get authorities involved if their child is having a relationship with potentially dangerous thugs, because there's a "right to privacy" between the parties and that includes teenagers. Nice. So when you overhear your 13-year-old daughter making arrangements with an adult drug dealer - or worse - don't expect help from the police.

This insane ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court is another attempt to move parental control away from parents and toward an activist judicial system. Fortunately Florida voters were smart enough to overwhelmingly pass a law this year requiring that parents be notified when their children try to get abortions.

The Florida law was a victory. The Washington Supreme Court ruling was a defeat. As long as courts are run by liberal activist judges you can expect these kinds of rulings. Fortunately the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to stay traditional for at least another four years and possibly longer.