D wife and P husband were married and had a child. They soon divorced, and D wife was given custody of their child. D wife later moved in with a black man.
P husband filed a petition to modify the prior judgment of custody because of the black man living with her.
The trial court took custody away from the mother stating that if the child were left with the mother, the child would be more vulnerable to peer pressures and suffer from social stigma because of her mother's choices.
Trial court gave custody to ex-husband.
Are private racial biases and prejudices permissible considerations for removing a child from the custody of its natural mother?
Private racial biases and prejudices are not permissible considerations for removing a child from the custody of its natural mother.
The Constitution cannot control such prejudices but neither can it tolerate them.
Private biases may be outside the reach of the law, but the law cannot, directly or indirectly, give them effect.
Public officials sworn to uphold the Constitution may not avoid a constitutional duty by bowing to the hypothetical effects of private racial prejudice that they assume to be both widely and deeply held.