Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Parental Rights- Do You Trust the Supreme Court?

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July 10, 2012
Do You Trust the Supreme Court?

According to a Rasmussen poll last Sunday, the popularity of the U.S. Supreme Court has taken quite a hit since their ruling on the Affordable Care Act during the last week of June. While the number of people who rated the Court as “excellent” or “good” dropped from 36% to 33%, the number who rated them as “poor” jumped from 17% to 28%.

It seems we just don’t trust the High Court as much as we used to.

But it is they who currently hold the fate of your parental rights in their hands.

That’s because of the 2000 ruling, Troxel v. Granville, in which a majority of the Court, albeit in separate opinions, held parental rights to be “fundamental” – but not worthy of strict scrutiny protection. ("Strict scrutiny" means the government agent must show a highest order governmental interest that cannot be otherwise served.) This was the first time in nearly 80 years of parental rights cases that the liberty of parents to direct their child’s upbringing was denied this important legal protection.

Perhaps you are among those, or know some who are, who believed that parental rights are safe enough because you can count on the Supreme Court to continue in the tradition of supporting these implied Fourteenth Amendment rights. If so, last month’s ruling may serve to show that we dare not count on the Court to preserve such vital liberties.

Over time, everything can eventually change with the shifting ideologies of the Court – everything, that is, except the actual text of the Constitution.

Which is why parental rights need to be added to those rights already explicitly protected in the U.S. Constitution. Only the proposed Parental Rights Amendment can protect parental rights from the shifting views of a High Court which is increasingly defined by politics and ideology rather than by adherence to the intent of our Founding Fathers.

Please Call to Protect Your Rights
1. The proposed PRA is scheduled for a hearing before the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee next Wednesday, July 18. (This is a change from the original July 19 date.) This is an unprecedented step forward in our efforts.

Please take a moment to call your congressman and ask him to sign on as a cosponsor of this important amendment, especially if he is on the subcommittee and not already signed on: Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH-1), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-8), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL-5), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-14), and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA-3). You can find your representative’s D.C. office number by clicking on your state at ParentalRights.org/states.

2. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is scheduled for a hearing on Thursday in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As discussed yesterday, we oppose this treaty which threatens the right of parents to make decisions for their children without undue government interference.

Please take a moment to call your senators and urge them to oppose its ratification. You can read more about what to say here, and you can find their D.C. office numbers by clicking on your state at ParentalRights.org/states.

3. Finally, I would also urge you to contact the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 and ask President Obama to withdraw the CRPD from Senate consideration.

These next two weeks will be very exciting for the cause of parental rights – and hopefully much more positive than the “very exciting” week we witnessed in the Supreme Court last month. Together, we can win protection of parental rights for you and for generations to come.


Michael Ramey
Direct of Communications & Research
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