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May 2017 Archives

Stuck In The Stone Age

Minnesota may be a progressive state in many ways, but in it's treatment of unmarried fathers, it is stuck in the past, if not the stone age, pretty close to it. Over a third of children are now born out of wedlock, often to parents who have been in a long term relationship. When the relationship ends the father has no rights until he goes to court, often a costly and long process. Unmarried fathers often get no time with their children until they get the order, meaning months without contact with their children, making it very difficult to establish a good parent child relationship. Even after the fathers get to court, too many judges do not seem to take their role seriously, often limiting their visit time for no reason, in some cases I have seen courts not even set up a schedule. This problem has a simple solution, re-write the laws to give unmarried fathers the same rights to their children as unmarried mothers.

The Confrontation Clause

It sounds like the name of a a bad boxing movie starring Sly Stallone, but it is actually an important part of the constitution that gives all of us the right to know and respond to the evidence against us if we are accused of a crime. Without it, we would be forced to go to trial against secret evidence and unnamed witnesses. With it, the state, with very few exceptions, must have any witnesses against us speak in court where we have the right, generally through our attorney to cross examine them. The state is also required to disclose ahead of time evidence that they will use against us. This may seem like obscure legal theory, but believe me, if you are ever accused of a crime, you will be glad that it exists.

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