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A "Misha" Case Update

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
As some of you have read, Doctors Opposing Circumcision (DOC) has been helping defend a boy, now a 13 year old boy, whose father is trying to have circumcised against the wishes of his mother; the mother and father are divorced, the father has legal custody, the boy has told the mother he does not want to be circumcised but is afraid of his father, and I'll let you ferret out the reason why the father is seeking to circumcise the boy.

In April 2007, DOC filed an amicus curia brief in the Boldt case with exhibits attached in support of the petition for review and on June 19, 2007, the Oregon Supreme Court decided to hear the mother's appeal and set oral arguments for November 6, 2007 at 11:15am. DOC then filed a second amicus curiae brief on the merits of the case in July 2007. Up to this point lower courts have been ruling in favor of the father; however, in January, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a less than optimal judgment which decreed that the lower courts should have considered the boys wishes in making its decision. While it could have been worse, part of the reason it was not optimal was, by my understanding, if the boy refused they would still have to have a hearing to determine if the boy could refuse over the wishes of the father. Doesn't make any sense to me perhaps I am a little off in my interpretation; for a good critique of the judgment head on over to the Rolling Doughnut.

In any event, this was supposed to be kicked back to the lower court where presumably the boy would get his say. However, apparently that was too much for the father to handle. Instead the SOB has filed a petition for Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court in an attempt to overrule the judgment of the the Oregon Supreme Court. This does not mean the case will be heard; what it means is the father is petitioning the court to decide whether or not they will hear an appeal, appeals to the USSC are not (usually) automatic. If four judges decide they want to hear the case then it would be scheduled. This does not mean they believe the OSC ruled incorrectly it just means they will hear the case. There is a note about this over at circumsitions too. Just thought you all would like to know.
post #2 of 62
Heartbreaking that this father is so set on causing his son pain
post #3 of 62
Would it make me a really terrible person if I wished harm to the father so this little boy could live in peace with his body intact?
post #4 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrestorm View Post
Would it make me a really terrible person if I wished harm to the father so this little boy could live in peace with his body intact?
No.
post #5 of 62
Whether or not he gets circumcised, that boy as an adult will want NOTHING. TO DO. WITH. HIS. FATHER for making him go through this.
post #6 of 62
So, if the Supreme Court does agree to hear the case, will it set a national precedent? Will they be deciding upon all the aspects of the original case, or just upon the aspect of whether the lower Oregon courts should have interviewed the boy?
post #7 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
So, if the Supreme Court does agree to hear the case, will it set a national precedent? Will they be deciding upon all the aspects of the original case, or just upon the aspect of whether the lower Oregon courts should have interviewed the boy?
I am not sure. As IANAL, I don't understand the finer points of law. Perhaps if Dave2GA sees this he might be able to elaborate in more detail. I suspect we would have to start by reading the writ which I haven't seen yet, I don't know if they are publicly available, if I find it I will post it. If I had to guess, I would presume that they would be ruling on whether it was proper for the SCO to remand the case back to the appellate court with the instructions to consider the wishes of the boy and not necessarily on the original facts of the case.

ETA: I am not sure what that precedent would be since I don't know on what basis he is filing the writ.

ETAA: Not related to following up this poster but I just wanted to say again this guy is an a**. What is he afraid of going back to the lower court? (A rhetorical question.) Now I know for sure he is doing this completely out of spite.
post #8 of 62
I'm not a lawyer of course but my belief is that James Boldt can only appeal the decision of The Oregon Supreme Court. To do so, he has to show that there was a procedural or factual error or omission or a conflict with the US Constitution. Only being peripheriferly familiar with the case, it would appear that he is appealing whether Misha has a say in the modification of his body or not. I suspect he will use the right of religious freedom as an argument that he has the decision making right instead of Misha.

I'm not sure if going to the Supreme Court of the United States is a good thing or a bad thing. The Justices have inherent biases regardless of their attempts to be neutral and those biases can affect their decisions. I'm just not sure we have changed the culture to the point we can be at all confident of a favorable decision. The danger of an unfavorable decision is that any decision may prevent the Supremes from re-visiting the case again for decades. Just look at Roe vs. Wade. The decision was made in 1972 (?) and the Court has steadfastly refused to visit the issue again despite heavy lobbying. That's 38 years!

At this time, I think we will be safer if The Supremes refuse to hear this case. I just don't think the time is right to get a favorable decision with any certainty. I think we have a lot more work to do changing the culture and the perceptions before we go to The Supremes.



Frank
post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking View Post
Just look at Roe vs. Wade. The decision was made in 1972 (?) and the Court has steadfastly refused to visit the issue again despite heavy lobbying. That's 38 years! Frank
This has nothing to do with circ or RvW, but I must contest one little bit- 1972 was only 36 years ago. (No biggie- just don't make me two years older than I already am! )
post #10 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking View Post
I'm not a lawyer of course but my belief is that James Boldt can only appeal the decision of The Oregon Supreme Court.
Frank
The thing is he didn't really lose the case they were simply instructed to go back to the appellate and take the boys wishes into consideration I am surprised this happened and it only shows he doesn't care what the boy thinks. If he knew his son would want the circumcision Misha would say so at the appellate court and it would be done.
post #11 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwhispers View Post
The thing is he didn't really lose the case they were simply instructed to go back to the appellate and take the boys wishes into consideration I am surprised this happened and only shows he doesn't care what the boy thinks. If he knew his son would want the circumcision Misha would say so at the appellate court and it would be done.

Having a 10 1/2 year old myself, I can see this dad having a H3ll of a time with Misha, should the circ be performed. That is, SHOULD he stay in his custody. Either way, the picture doesn't look good into the future.
post #12 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan1097 View Post
Having a 10 1/2 year old myself, I can see this dad having a H3ll of a time with Misha, should the circ be performed. That is, SHOULD he stay in his custody. Either way, the picture doesn't look good into the future.
Actually, if this grinds its way to the bitter end the kid could be at least 15 before it is resolved. And the older he gets the harder it would be to believe the court would allow him to be forcibly circumcised. But this is the US so who knows.

ETA: For perspective, IFIRC, he was only 8 or 9 when this started.
post #13 of 62
This father, I just don't get him. Fights over a clean room can ruin a relationship for years - something that makes a broken marriage even more difficult and involves lawyers and the high court - I can only imagine. Does he hate his ex-wife so much?
post #14 of 62
The longer this goes on, the more bizarre it is. If he has turned 13, Jewish law would consider him an adult, so he can't be converted against his wishes. Is Misha saying that he wants to convert (and be circumcised), but his mother is arguing that he doesn't really want to?
post #15 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamagotchi View Post
The longer this goes on, the more bizarre it is. If he has turned 13, Jewish law would consider him an adult, so he can't be converted against his wishes. Is Misha saying that he wants to convert (and be circumcised), but his mother is arguing that he doesn't really want to?
To be honest it isn't clear what Misha is saying. The father says he wants it the mother says he doesn't and is afraid to confront his father. My money is on the mother. If Misha wanted to go through with this, and the father knew that, he could have gone back to the applet court confident that Misha would say as much.
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwhispers View Post
To be honest it isn't clear what Misha is saying. The father says he wants it the mother says he doesn't and is afraid to confront his father. My money is on the mother. If Misha wanted to go through with this, and the father knew that, he could have gone back to the applet court confident that Misha would say as much.
To be converted at age 13 though, Misha would have to go into a room with 3 rabbis (without his father there) and convince all of them that he wants to be converted of his own accord. So is Misha willing to go before the rabbis and argue that he wants to be converted, in which case I would think he would be willing to stand up in court and say that too?

Or is his father trying to force him to be circumcised even though he wouldn't go through with the conversion? Having read about this case before, I wouldn't put it past Misha's father to do that. It seemed to me that he was mostly trying to get Misha circumcised in order to make Misha's mother mad.
post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamagotchi View Post
To be converted at age 13 though, Misha would have to go into a room with 3 rabbis (without his father there) and convince all of them that he wants to be converted of his own accord. So is Misha willing to go before the rabbis and argue that he wants to be converted, in which case I would think he would be willing to stand up in court and say that too?

Or is his father trying to force him to be circumcised even though he wouldn't go through with the conversion? Having read about this case before, I wouldn't put it past Misha's father to do that. It seemed to me that he was mostly trying to get Misha circumcised in order to make Misha's mother mad.
What an interesting point. Didn't know about the rules according to Judaism. It makes it sound (to me, anyways) like Rabbis would advocate for him in court, given that he wishes to stay intact.

ETA: The father is being abusive. Because of this, the child should be removed from the fathers custody and the child placed in his mother's care.
post #18 of 62
At 13 a child could exercise his constitutional freedoms... hmmmm

Wouldn't that open the doors for the children at the compound to "exercise their constitutional freedoms" when they're 13?

Not that I want that to happen.


Just a thought.

ETA: We should be preserving their constitutional freedoms, (meaning there is no physical harm done to a child) so they can fully express their freedom when they've reached adulthood.
post #19 of 62
The Jewish groups that supported him with legal briefs to the Oregon Supreme court said they were happy with the ruling. They were concerned that the result could have impacted religious circumcision of infants. If accepted, this appeal could only re-open that concern, so presumably they will not support this bid to go to the Supreme Court. This ass-hat should be on his own with this petition.
post #20 of 62
Imagine if the Supreme Court did support the Father. Don't you think it might be a big wake up call to our laws, if people saw that 13-15 year old boy could be circumcised by force, and that it was all perfectly legal. Maybe people would think twice when doing it to their own children.
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