Saturday, January 26, 2008

Court Snippet: A Wee Little Flap Of Skin Goes To Trial In The Oregon Supreme Court

Warning: Before you read this, get ready to wince! The Oregon Supreme Court heard oral arguments (hey, I don't write this stuff) Tuesday on whether a divorced father can have his 12-year-old son circumcised. The court, after a lingering on the topic, ruled Friday that the wishes of the 12-year-old boy should be considered in a dispute between his divorced parents. Now this is something that our over burdened court system really needs to be putting a lot of time and effort into, don't you think? What about the serious crimes like robbery? Rape? Murder? Heck no...foreskin!

The father, James Boldt, converted to Judaism in 2004 and wants the boy to be circumcised as part of the faith. The mother, Lia Boldt, appealed to the high court, saying the operation could harm her son physically and psychologically. The custody dispute began when the child was 4 and the circumcision issue began three years ago when he was 9. The custody dispute began when the child was 4 and the circumcision issue began three years ago when he was 9.

The attorney for both sides declined to comment. The case has drawn attention from Jewish groups concerned that the Oregon court might restrict the practice. A group called Doctors Opposing Circumcision backs the mother. The courts have steered clear of religious or medical issues, focusing on the questions of custody and care of the child. "I think what may be delicate and tricky is ... how much we can trust what the 12-year-old says, given the circumstances,'' said Carl Tobias of the University of Richmond. ``He likely feels some pressure from (his parents).''

More than a million U.S. infants are circumcised each year, but circumcising adults or teens remains relatively rare. A urologist who met with the boy submitted an affidavit that said the procedure would cause him minor discomfort for about three days but not interfere with his normal activities, the Supreme Court's decision said. I'm sure the kids reaction is going to be a little bit like this kid in the picture...and I think I'd want to be the first one to consult if they are going to chop a chunk off.

So why did this case ever come to trial. After a little bit of research, the truth comes out. Even the lawyers are overusing the court system. It seems that James Boldt, who is a lawyer, is representing himself in this case. Now it makes sense, don't you think? It interesting that the court wants the opinion of the kid in this case...but on the other hand, (or should I say "in the hand") as long as you don't beat your children with an electric cord in Oregon, they're pretty much your property as far as the law is concerned.