Parental Rights Threatened by UN Treaty

Sunday, March 8, 2009

If passed, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child threatens to not only erode U.S. sovereignty, but also the rights of parents to bring their children up as they see fit.

Eighty years ago the Supreme Court declared that “the child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925).

Thirty years ago the Court continued this line of reasoning with the pronouncement that the “primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.” Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972).

Yet in 2000, when the State of Washington gave any person the ability to override a good parent’s decision about visitation by simply claiming that it would be “best” for children to allow the third-party to have visitation rights, in the Supreme Court:

· There were six separate opinions and none reached a five-vote majority

· Justice Thomas was the only Justice to clearly state that parental rights receive the same high legal standard of protection as other fundamental rights

· Justice Scalia held that parents have no constitutionally protected rights whatsoever


Support for a high-view of parental rights has been seriously undermined by the current Court.

As a consequence, numerous lower federal courts refuse to treat parental rights as deserving of protection as a fundamental right.

At the same time, America is poised to adopt the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. President Obama supports this treaty. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a leading advocate of this treaty for over twenty years. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has “promised” that this treaty will be ratified during this term of Congress.

If this treaty is ratified:

· The laws of all 50 states on children and parents would be superseded by this international law by virtue of a specific provision of the US Constitution which expressly declares treaties to be supreme over state law. Virtually all law on children and parents is state law.

· Good parents would no longer be entitled to the legal presumption that they act in the best interests of their children. Instead, the government would have the authority to overrule all parents on any decision concerning the child if the government believed it could make a better decision.

· Parents could no longer spank their children.

· Children would have the legal right to choose their own religion. Parents would be permitted only to give advice.

· America would be under a binding legal obligation to massively increase its federal spending on children’s programs.


The only kind of law that can override a treaty is the Constitution of the United States. State laws or state constitutions cannot override treaties. There is no guarantee that federal statutes could override treaties—moreover, we enter a binding legal promise to obey a treaty when we ratify it. America should not promise to obey a treaty and then claim it is appropriate to obey the treaty only when we want to. America of all nations must respect the rule of law.

There is only one possible solution for the eroding support for parental rights in the Supreme Court that can also stop the encroachment of international law.

We need to place the time-honored test of parental rights, as recognized by the Supreme Court for over seventy years, into the explicit text of the Constitution.

We cannot wait until our rights are formally demolished. We must act now to stop international law and protect these two key principles:

· Fit parents should be allowed to direct the upbringing of their children.

· American legislators, not international tribunals, should make the public policy for America on families and children.

From parentalrights.org

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