Senate sends sup. visitation bill to SJC

H4951 sails through House

Reports of the demise of the Jacques/Cohen supervised visitation bill are premature. Titled "An act relative to the consideration of domestic violence in custody and visitation hearings," it is the Massachusetts version of a nationwide legislative initiative coordinated by radical feminists to further undermine the father-child relationship. It presently waits at the Supreme Judicial Court for an advisory opinion before it returns to the Senate.

The bill sailed through the House on a 149-5 vote Sept. 23. As a concession to fathers advocates, the word "reasonable" was inserted before "fear" in the definition of "domestic abuse" lifted from 209A, the domestic abuse statute. But three amendments proposed by Rep. Douglas Stoddard (R - Natick) to soften the blatantly unconstitutional provisions were roundly voted down. According to Stoddard, he was told informally that "it would clog up the courts if we gave everyone due process."

Finneran puts bill on fast track

Opposition to the bill kept it on the back burner until House Speaker Thomas Finneran declared it a top priority at a press conference several weeks before the vote. In addition to Finneran and the bill’s sponsors David Cohen (D-Newton) and Sen. Cheryl Jacques (D-Needham), it is being championed by Judiciary Committee House Chair John Rogers.

Rep. James Fagan (D-Taunton) has practiced family law for 25 years. From that vantage point he knows the realities of divorce and custody litigation, and is solidly in opposition. Recognizing the bill as agenda-driven politics at its worst, he says that the law will be used as a weapon to stack the deck against fathers. Another voice of reason, Sen. Chip Clancy (D-Lynn), has described it as a "wolf in sheep’s clothing."

 

Rep. Rogers, please read Chapter 208 Section 31, where it is expressly noted that domestic violence must be considered when adjudicating custody. It is precisely this language that will be replaced with the dumbed-down, politically correct, and legally ambiguous language of "domestic abuse."

 

Rep. Rogers performs like a clueless shill

In contrast to these experienced voices, Rep. Rogers thin rhetoric parrots the victim-feminist party line, even going so far as to cite the notoriously biased and discredited 1989 Gender Bias Study.

Some of Rogers' statements lead one to wonder if he has even bothered to read the existing law that the bill aims to supplant. He claims that historically the courts have deemed evidence of inter-spousal abuse irrelevant or inadmissible in determining the best interests of the child.

Rep. Rogers, please read Chapter 208 Section 31, where it is expressly noted that domestic violence must be considered when adjudicating custody. It is precisely this language that will be replaced with the dumbed-down, politically correct, and legally ambiguous language of "domestic abuse."

Now docketed as S2021, the Senate Judiciary committee voted on a motion by Chip Clancy to send the bill over to the Supreme Judicial Court for an opinion on its constitutionality. The motion passed by one vote.

Bill targets last parental right of fathers

Fathers advocates claim that the bill targets the last remaining right of divorced fathers: visitation. If the bill becomes law, allegations of even a single incidence of abuse, against either the child or the other parent, will, if recognized by the judge by preponderance of the evidence (the lowest standard), oblige removal of all custodial rights and privileges. Further, various remedies are listed to treat the abuser while protecting the ex-spouse and the child from him.

Presently in divorce, the custodial parent becomes the winner, and the non-custodial parent is impoverished, often rendered homeless — and also criminalized in the process.

With this legislation, the losing parent is further demoralized and demonized by being ordered into Orwellian batterers treatment programs. Access to his children will be allowed only at state-supported supervised visitation centers, the next industry to profit from the feminization and militarization of divorce.

 

News and Commentary from the New Guard of the Father's Rights Movement

Volume 1, Issue 4
January, 1998

PO Box 1146 Leominster, MA 01453
www.ziplink.net/~brontis/FFhome

All Rights Reserved

 

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