In The

Supreme Court of the United States




Decided June 25, 1987

Justice O’Connor, Concurring

Topic: Due Process*Court vote: 8–1
Note: No other Justices joined this opinion.
Citation: 483 U.S. 574 Docket: 86–98Audio: Listen to this case's oral arguments at Oyez

* As categorized by the Washington University Law Supreme Court Database

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JUSTICE O'CONNOR, concurring in the judgment.

I believe that the judgment of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court should be affirmed for the reasons set forth by JUSTICE REHNQUIST in dissent in Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U. S. 745, 455 U. S. 770 -791 (1982).

Both theory and the precedents of this Court teach us solicitude for state interests, particularly in the field of family and family-property arrangements.

United States v. Yazell, 382 U. S. 341, 382 U. S. 352 (1966). Particularly in light of that special solicitude, I cannot find that the flexible concept of due process, Santosky v. Kramer, supra, at 455 U. S. 774 -776 (REHNQUIST, J., dissenting), bars Pennsylvania from providing that the litigants to a civil paternity suit are to bear the risk of factual error in roughly equal fashion. I do not find it necessary to this conclusion to rely upon the fact that the majority of American jurisdictions apply the same rule as Pennsylvania does. Cf. ante at 483 U. S. 577 -578. Nor do I agree that the differences between termination and paternity proceedings are substantial enough to justify the different conclusion reached in Santosky. Accordingly, I concur in the Court's judgment, but not its opinion.

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