Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
Children don't have a full set of Constitutionally guaranteed Rights like adults because they aren't considered mature enough to make informed decisions. Children's Rights have primarily been determined by a series of Supreme Court Cases and precedence from English Common law, and are fraught with arbitrary limitations: why 16 to get a Driver's license, 18 to vote, but 21 to smoke or drink alcohol, yet a 16-year old can be tried as an adult. Yet, medically, a human's frontal cortex, the part of the brain that makes rational decisions, isn't fully formed until age 25-32.
The State can take over responsibility for a minor, called “parens patriae,” to protect their health, safety, and welfare; under the guise of acting in their best interests. And schools have another level of authority, called “in loco parentis” that can curtail a child's civil liberties. Of course, there's the parents who can rule with an iron fist under the Parental Rights Doctrine. This all proves that liberty must be taught, along with responsibility for your actions and respect for other people's liberty, because babies aren't born with those understandings. Presumably, when they do, they become “adults” but, actually, most adults haven't learned those concepts either, so obviously, the concept of a “minor” is rather muddled, and therefore the rights of minors are too.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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