First, according to the Washington Supreme Court, the Constitution permits a State to interfere with the right of parents to rear their children only to prevent harm or potential harm to a child. Section 26.10.160(3) fails that standard because it requires no threshold showing of harm. Id., at 15-20, 969 P. 2d, at 28-30. Second, by allowing” ‘any person’ to petition for forced visitation of a child at ‘any time’ with the only requirement being that the visitation serve the best interest of the child,” the Washington visitation statute sweeps too broadly. Id., at 20, 969 P. 2d, at 30. “It is not within the province of the state to make significant decisions concerning the custody of children merely because it could make a ‘better’ decision.” Ibid., 969 P. 2d, at 31. The Washington Supreme Court held that “[p]arents have a right to limit visitation of their children with third persons,” and that between parents and judges, “the parents should be the ones to choose whether to expose their children to certain people or ideas.” Id., at 21, 969 P. 2d, at 31. Four justices dissented from the Washington Supreme Court’s holding on the constitutionality of the statute. Id., at 23-43, 969 P. 2d, at 32-42.

The Fourteenth Amendment provides that no State shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” We have long recognized that the Amendment’s Due Process Clause, like its Fifth Amendment counterpart, “guarantees more than fair process.” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U. S. 702, 719 (1997). The Clause also includes a substantive component that “provides heightened protection against government interference with certain fundamental rights and liberty interests.” Id., at 720; see also Reno v. Flores, 507 U. S. 292, 301-302 (1993).

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Supreme Court of the United States, final court of appeal and final expositor of the Constitution of the United States. Within the framework of litigation, the Supreme Court marks the boundaries of authority between state and nation, state and state, and government and citizen. The Supreme Court was created by the Constitutional Convention of 1787 as the head of a federal court system, though it was not formally established until Congress passed the Judiciary Act in 1789. Although the Constitution outlined the powers, structure, and functions of the legislative and executive branches of government in some detail,


Source: Supreme Court of the United States | History, Rules, Opinions, & Facts | Britannica

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