The Parental Rights Amendment: Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is being provided courtesy of our good friends at parentalrights.org:

1. Why do we need the Parental Rights Amendment?

Parental rights in America are at increased risk from both the federal courts and
international law. Domestically, the Supreme Court’s decision in Troxel v.
Granville (2000) removed from parental rights the high legal protection
accorded to all other fundamental rights, leaving judges to weigh parental rights
against the interests of the child, the State, and even third parties on a case-by case
basis. Meanwhile, ratification of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the
Child (CRC), which would overrule State-level family law and constitutionally
implied parental rights, is a stated goal of the current administration.
One federal court in New York has already twice held that the treaty is even
binding without ratification, under the theory of “Customary International Law.”
The Amendment will correct both of these threats.

2. What is so bad about the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child?

Despite the innocuous title, the CRC, if ratified, would become binding on judges
in all 50 States, while an unelected 18-member panel of internationalists has
authority to interpret what it means in practical application. In essence, the
U.S. would be obligated to perform whatever this panel tells us we have agreed
to perform under the treaty. In addition, all family law (95% of which is
currently State law) would become a U.S. treaty obligation, and thus a matter of
federal jurisdiction and legislation, the largest power shift from the State to the
federal level in U.S. history. Additionally, the convention makes the
government, and not the parents, the first and final caretakers for America’s
children. Parents are relegated to the role of government agents in fulfilling our
obligations under the CRC.

3. Won’t a Parental Rights Amendment protect child abusers?

The proposed Parental Rights Amendment clearly states that parental rights are
fundamental rights, but “fundamental” rights are not “absolute” rights.
The government can restrict a fundamental right, but only if it proves that it has
a compelling reason to do so. Freedom of the press, for instance, does not
permit slander or libel. Section Two of the Amendment expressly preserves the
current interest (obligation) of the government to protect children from child
abuse and neglect, which they do by prosecuting those crimes and by
interceding in cases of imminent harm. The Amendment is designed to protect
fit parents from unwarranted government intrusion without allowing unfit
parents to do whatever they want to their children.

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