A Tit-for-Tat About Tats on Tots: An Analysis of Social Deviance within Gender, Family, or the Home (Etudes 3)
Posted: 10 Jan 2013
Date Written: September 10, 2011
Parents have a fundamental right in the care, custody, and control of their children. Only laws that are narrowly tailored and accomplish a compelling state interest through the least restrictive means will suffice to infringe on a parent’s fundamental right. This Article asserts that state laws that make it illegal per se for a parent to consent to the tattooing of her minor child violate the right to privacy under substantive due process and the longstanding tradition of parental rights.
Within the context of this Article, it is not useful to ask whether a tattoo is in the best interest of a minor because the Court has held that parents’ choices are presumed to be in the best interest of their children. This Article will instead outline how judges cannot disturb a parental decision simply because a better decision could have been made and the only relevant questions within the area of tattoos by minors are outlined by and discussed under the strict scrutiny standard. Section II of this Article will explore how states have failed to achieve their legitimate interests through means that are the least restrictive of parent’s fundamental rights. Section III will balance state interests against parental rights to show that laws that limit child tattooing are too broad. Section IV will propose some state interests that could rationally justify the necessity of child tattoo laws, but Section IV will show that these reasons are not compelling.
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