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.{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.

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