ABC Evening News for Monday, May 16, 1977
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(Studio) Supreme Court rules today in case of Kremens versus Bartley, involving 1972 case where attys. filed suit for right of due process in behalf of 5 mentally ill children in Pennsylvania.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner
(No location given) Adults cannot be committed to institution without due process of law; question is now raised with regard to parents' right to commit children without due process. Attorney David Ferleger says children have same rights as adults. [FERLEGER - says children aren't 2nd class citizens when question is confining them against will in institutions.] Pennsylvania deputy attorney general Norman Watkins says issue is parents' rights. [WATKINS - notes parents' rights in physical health of children; equates it with mental health situation.] In 38 states, children have no such rights. [FERLEGER - says parents too close to situation for judgement to be reliable.] [WATKINS - doesn't make sense to make parents prove child needs committing; only adds to trauma.] Kremens versus Bartley was test of Pennsylvania law and recently Pennsylvania changed law to allow children over 13 to have attorney and hearing. Supreme Court says it needn't decide on case due to change in law, but other, similar cases await hearing before court
REPORTER: Julie Eckhert
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