Golden Gate University Law Review


This article is about Troxel's practical impact as it has played out in the laboratory of the California court system. To understand Troxel's effect, one must first understand the legal and social landscape that preceded it. Accordingly, the first section of this article explores the political and societal origins of grandparent Visitation statutes. It also reviews the basic types of grandparent visitation statutes and the arguments made on each side of a typical pre-Troxel grandparent visitation suit. The second step in understanding Troxel's effect is to understand the decision itself. Troxel is a plurality opinion. Although the individual concurrences and dissents will be of interest to constitutional scholars for years to come, the real importance of the decision, for state courts which must implement it, is found in Justice O'Connor's plurality opinion.

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