Courts have effectively muddied parental rights, says group....

Charlie Butts

Parental rights are in disarray in some states but one organization is seeking a permanent fix.

At one point in American history, parents fully understood their rights over the upbringing of their children, but a confused set of rulings have eroded those rights. The source of the trouble stems from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2000 in the case Troxel v. Granville.

Michael Ramey of tells OneNewsNow previous courts had ruled the state must have a compelling interest in order to override parental rights.

“That standard was taken away in the Troxel v. Granville case, and instead the Supreme Court simply said that parents’ decisions have to be given some special weight, and that’s a quote – ‘some special weight’ – which as a legal standard is extremely ambiguous,” he says.

That, according to Ramey, has led to a hodgepodge of court rulings that favor parental rights in some states but not in others.

“So there are still some states that have not allowed that standard to lower, but other courts in other states have said, Well, the Supreme Court in Troxel only says ‘some special weight.’ So even though we used to hold to strict scrutiny, that’s no longer the case,” Ramey explains.

“And those are the states where we’re seeing trouble; and the problem is that that list can continue to grow as long as the problem isn’t fixed.”

The fix, according to Ramey, is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would take a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress before it is sent to the states. Three-fourths of the states would then have to sign off on the amendment for it to pass.

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