The following is taken from a publication distributed by ParentalRights.org: Protecting Children by Empowering Parents.
The Parental Rights Amendment: FAQ, Part One of Two
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.
Reprinted with permission from ParentalRights.org.