A Constitutional Amendment: the Only Way to Protect Parental Rights to Direct the Upbringing and Education of Their Children

3083 Words Nov 21st, 2008 13 Pages
A Constitutional Amendment:
The Only Way to Protect Parental Rights to Direct the Upbringing and Education of Their Children

English 1020
May 1, 2008

Outline
Thesis: In order to ensure that parental rights concerning the upbringing and education of their children remain fundamental rights in America, there must be an amendment to the United States Constitution explicitly stating parental rights.
I. Parental rights are not specifically protected under the United States Constitution. A. The Fourteenth and Ninth amendments to the Constitution B. Judicial interpretation of these amendments
II. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
A. What the CRC is
B. What the CRC
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In the same case of the Supreme Court, Justice Souter wrote a separate opinion saying that parents have rights, but not fundamental rights. Yet he voted for the parents in this particular case while Justice Scalia did not (Farris, “Deeper”). Many lower courts (which handle everyday cases that affect parents) have used the Supreme Court’s ruling in Troxel v. Granville to undermine parental rights claiming that since the Supreme Court cannot agree, the lower courts are free to decide a case however they wish (parentalrights.org). The United States has a history of protecting the fundamental rights of parents, but that perception is changing. Not only are parental rights being attacked here at home, but attack is also coming from the rising force of international law (parentalrights.org). In 1995, President Clinton signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), an international treaty which requires the state to protect “the best interests of the child”(Convention on the Rights of the Child, art.3.)(Farris, “Parental Rights”). Article 18 of the CRC declares that parents have “the primary responsibility” for the upbringing and development of the child. In doing so, the CRC changes parental rights into parental responsibilities (parentalrights.org). Because these rights would be replaced with responsibilities, “best interests provides decision and policy makers with the authority to

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