Friday, August 12, 2011

Protests at family court

Today, is organizing protests outside circuit courts around the state to voice its discontent with the family court system. (Though Washtenaw County is off the hook, apparently.) Namely, this group wants to severely limit the use of guardians-ad-litem--people or organizations, sometimes attorneys, appointed to represent the interests of the child in neglect, abuse and, less often, divorce proceedings. This seems like a difficult position to defend: Mom gets an attorney, Dad gets an attorney, the state has an attorney, and now we want to deprive the child of the maybe-attorney he or she has access to? I don't think anyone's denying that the family law system has its problems, but it's not this.

Perhaps most perplexing--and, honestly, not perplexing--is Govabuse's position on funding. Its website laments the billions of "TAXPAYER dollars...used to separate, and financially demolish families." (sic) Then, about ten bullet points down, Govabuse demands that "Families must be given assistance instead of removing their children." And therein lies the rub. As evidenced by the ongoing budget kerfuffle, we as a country cannot seem to grasp this concept: we can have more expansive social programs, or we can have lower taxes. But we can't have both.

Check out the Southern Poverty Law Center's report on these events here.

**As of 7:50 AM, there were no protesters outside the Genesee County courthouse. Maybe I'll see some at lunch.**

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