APSAC Amicus Briefs
In 2012, APSAC established an Amicus Committee. The Committee’s mission is to bring to bear in significant legal cases a voice on behalf of APSAC’s multidisciplinary membership and for children. In doing so, the Committee relies on knowledge from research and endeavors to focus courts’ attention on empirically sound evidence from allied disciplines such as social work, medicine, and psychology. To date, the committee has filed amicus briefs in federal and state courts.
The committee's experience thus far suggests that courts are open to and can be influenced by the presentation of information from the social and medical sciences as they deliberate and make decisions in cases involving issues of child maltreatment. Lawyers who can deploy solid medical and social science research in support of their legal arguments on behalf of protecting children can more effectively serve their clients and can make systems more responsive to their needs.
All briefs filed thus far by the Amicus Committee are available below for your reference. If you are interested in becoming a member of the committee or wish to suggest a case where the committee might file a brief, email Frank Vandervort at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anonymous v. Anonymous and Anonymous: This brief argues that Parental Alienation lacks scientific support, making its application subjective, biased, and virtually impossible to refute and that Parental Alienation's application in custody litigation causes significant harm to children.
Department of Homeland Security et a. v. Regents of the University of California et al.: In this brief, APSAC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and 33 Child Advocacy Organizations, Medical Professionals, and Child Development Experts argue that ending DACA protections will likely damage children's physical and mental health.
State of Texas, et al. v. United States of America, et al., Karla Perez, et al., and State of New Jersey: In this brief, APSAC argues against ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), arguing that the children of DACA recipients would experience significant toxic stress if DACA were to end.
International Refugee Assistance Program vs. Donald Trump and State of Hawaii; Ismail Elshikh v. Donald Trump: These briefs address the harm of President Trump's Executive Order (EO) banning immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries to two groups of children; first, those children who would be denied entrance to the United States by the EO and, second, Muslim children in the United States who have been and will likely continue to be ostracized and bullied because of the negative perception of Muslim persons fostered by the EO.
Joseph H. v. State of California: In this brief, APSAC argues that when a court determines whether a child has made a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his right to remain silent, the courts should be required to consider how a lifetime of maltreatment and early life adversity impact the child’s decision whether to answer police officers’ questions.
Jones v. Wang: APSAC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the California Medical Association and the Ray E. Helfer Society filed this brief aimed at protecting child abuse pediatricians from being sued and, in turn, protecting children from maltreatment.
Ohio v. Clark: In this brief, APSAC argues that admission of a three year-old boy's statements alleging abuse through a teacher and a principal did not violate the defendant's constitutional right to confront the witnesses against him.
Paroline v. United States: In this brief, APSAC argues that the harm done to victims of child pornography cannot be assigned to individual images or an individual defendent's possession of those images.