The Supreme Court heard arguments on Jan. 12 in Troxel v. Granville, No. 99-138, which addressed grandparent visitation rights. The case is important to anyone who has a relationship with a child — not just grandparents and grandchildren.

Because it is one of the rare family law cases to be addressed by the court, it could prove decisive in determining how we define “family” and how far the state will be permitted to intrude into family life. Legal clarification is urgently needed in this area.