Here’s a bit of the ruling:
According to the pleadings, Dubay commenced a personal relationship with defendant Lauren Wells, dated her, engaged in intimate sexual relations, impregnated her, terminated his relationship, and sued her for bearing his child. If chivalry is not dead, its viability is gravely imperiled by the plaintiff in this case.
But chivalry is not the issue here, nor does it provide a basis upon which to decide the legal and policy issues that Dubay seeks to advance through this litigation. Rather, the plaintiff contends that Michigan’s paternity statutes are repugnant to the United States Constitution’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses because he has no say, he argues, in the decision whether to beget and bear a child. Therefore, he insists, he ought not to be saddled with the financial responsibility of the child’s support, and he should receive damages from the private and public defendants who are attempting to exact that toll from him.
The plaintiff’s claims have been rejected by every court that has considered similar matters, and with good reason. The plaintiff’s suggestion that the support provisions of the Michigan Paternity Act implicates the Equal Protection Clause does not find support in the jurisprudence. First, the Act’s provisions apply only if a child is born and essentially do not concern anyone’s right to choose to be a parent.
Second, the statutory provisions are facially neutral, requiring both parents equally to support the child.
Third, the plaintiff argues that enforcing the Act’s provisions, without any deviation from the neutral language of those provisions, still can implicate the Equal Protection Clause because of an underlying inequality: the State’s recognition that women can choose to be parents and men cannot. This argument in turn is based on the existence of a right supposedly grounded in substantive due process, as the plaintiff acknowledged at oral argument. But the Sixth Circuit has squarely rejected the argument that fairness or reciprocity generates a substantive right to avoid child support on the theory that a woman has the right to bring to term or terminate a pregnancy on her own.
Finally, the plaintiff has failed to demonstrate in even the most remote way that state action plays a role in the interference with his choice to reject parenthood. The consequences of sexual intercourse have always included conception, and the State has nothing to do with this historical truism. Because the plaintiff has failed to state a colorable claim in his amended complaint, the Court will dismiss the complaint against all the defendants. In addition, the Court finds that the plaintiff’s claim is frivolous, unreasonable, and without foundation. Therefore, the Court will grant the State’s motion for attorney fees….
The above is pretty much the “executive summary” section of the judgement; read the whole thing if you’d like to see the arguments developed in more detail.
NOTE FOR COMMENTS: Please don’t post about how you have an income of $500 a month and the judge ordered you to pay $2000 a month in child support to your ungrateful lazy ex-spouse who spends all the child support money on dresses she can wear to the track and she earns more than you do anyway and the judge won’t even reply to your motions. Unless I know both you and your ex-spouse, and can hear her side of the story for myself, I don’t think anecdotal evidence of that sort really helps advance the discussion.
- Horrible track records and the possible rolling back of women's rights and racial civil rights
- How would a confirmation of Roberts effect LGBT civil rights?
- The Passing of a Civil Rights icon
- Choice for Men equals State-Enforced Childbirth for Women?
- The Massachusetts Supreme Court on Gay Marriage and Children