Tag Archives: sovereignty

Supreme Court Uses U.N. Convention on Rights of the Child to Justify Overriding American Law

By Daniel Downs

The Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of Graham v. Florida. Justice Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, based the decision on the 8th amendment clause, which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” Florida law does not permit the possibility of parole for those sentenced to life in prison. To sentence a juvenile to life imprisonment without parole for non-homicide crimes does seem unusually cruel.

The controversy over the decision, however, is with the Court’s use of the U.N. Convention on Rights of the Child (CRC). According to the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), the Kennedy opinion echoes his opinion issued in the 2005 Roper v. Simmons case.

“That case involved the imposition of the death penalty on juveniles, which the majority ruled was unconstitutional under the 8th Amendment under their ‘evolving standards of decency’ test. Roper was perhaps most noteworthy for its numerous citations of international law and foreign sources in helping to determine what modern standards of decency should be.”

In Graham v. Florida, the Court, the evolving standards of decency were also justified based on CRC and other foreign national law that also held the same alleged standard of decency. As cited by C-FAM, the dissenting opinion of Justice Scalia in Roper v. Simmons still applies.

“The Court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our Nation’s moral standards—and in the course of discharging that awesome responsibility purports to take guidance from the views of foreign courts and legislatures. Because I do not believe that the meaning of our Eighth Amendment, any more than the meaning of other provisions of our Constitution, should be determined by the subjective views of five Members of this Court and like-minded foreigners, I dissent.”

Michael Farris, President of Parental Rights, represented 16 members of Congress in the case. He sees the courts reliance on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child as first steps to the certain erosion of the sovereignty of American law over issues of parents and children.

http://parentalrights.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={F94AE58A-9D7E-44BA-A40A-5E3DF0D2D851}Farris also noted that along “with recent statements by groups dedicated to the ratification of the U.N. CRC, today’s ruling signals that we must stop the ratification of the CRC before it gains momentum in the Senate.” He urges all Americans to contact their representatives in Congress asking them to oppose the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by supporting both Senator DeMint’s bill S.R.519 and the Parental Rights Amendment.

DeMint Resolution Challenges Child Rights Convention

Washington, D.C. – Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) today introduced S.R. 519, a resolution opposing ratification of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (Convention, or CRC) in an effort to discourage the State Department and the Obama administration from submitting it to the Senate. Citing dangers posed to American families and to State and federal sovereignty if the treaty were ratified, the measure resolves that “the president should not submit it to the Senate for its advice and consent.”

In Washington’s current political climate, the resolution has little chance of gaining 51 votes for adoption, but its proponents say that is not the point. Since ratification of the Convention requires a 2/3 majority of the Senate, or 67 favorable votes, S.R. 519 needs only 34 cosponsors to prevent that vote and effectively end any chance of ratifying the treaty in the immediate future.

Opponents of the CRC warn that under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution the treaty’s ratification would render it “the Supreme law of the land,” superseding all state constitutions or laws as well as pre-existing federal law. The only legal authority higher than a ratified treaty is the actual text of the U.S. Constitution. According to Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), ratification of the Convention would “undermine the U.S. system of federalism, a system on which this nation was founded.” All family law, the vast majority of which is currently set at the state level, would be federalized as a treaty obligation of the national government.

“We want to see the CRC taken off the table for this Congress, and this resolution will do that. But I am also aware that the only permanent solution to this threat to our families is a parental rights amendment to the Constitution,” DeMint said, referring to another resolution he champions, S.J. Res. 16, which proposes just such an amendment.

Constitutional lawyer Michael Farris, president of ParentalRights.org, agrees. “The Amendment is what we really need, but this resolution is a good temporary fix in the meantime.”

Ohio joins other states in reclaiming their liberty and sovereignty

Over eight states have passed resolutions reaffirming the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Tenth Amendment provides that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”Among twenty other states proposing similar resolution is Ohio.

The Ohio Freedom Alliance is one of the groups leading the Liberty and Sovereignty Resolution initiative.

Those leading the initiative believe that the federal government has consistently over-stepped it’s constitutional boundaries and usurped the powers reserved to the states, and therefore the people.

The Ohio Liberty and Sovereignty Resolution will remind the federal government of it’s proper role and place. The goal is to have this resolution adopted and passed by the Ohio State Legislature during this calendar year of 2009.

To read and sign the petition, go here. All signatures will be delivered to the Ohio State House in early to mid-March.