Here’s what’s up, according to Quinlan: The convergence of the Obama administration’s incremental assault upon parental moral authority (think: the Common Core and the content it requires students to learn) and the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision in Obergefell (which legitimated so-called “homosexual marriage”). This convergence portends the government increasingly interjecting itself into defining morality and then using the public schools to teach it. Traditionally, defining and teaching morality to children has been entrusted to the family and church.
Think about it this way: If the judiciary can legislate morality and the federal government can impose it through the public schools, what happens when parental morality is opposed to what the government is imposing upon their children through the public school curriculum?
But, as Quinlan notes, that’s not what parents should really fear.
Since at least 2000, SCOTUS has inserted itself into a case involving state grandparent visitation law, Troxel v. Granville. The particulars of the case aren’t important here. What the potential outcomes associated with this intrusion into parental rights could mean is very important.
Quinlan notes that in six opinions, SCOTUS has endeavored to disavow the “harm to the child” standard—“the Constitution permits a State to interfere with the right of parents to rear their children only to prevent harm or potential harm to a child.” What SCOTUS favors is empowering judges to determine what they deem is “in the best interests of the child.”
Consider Justice Stevens’ separate opinion in Troxel:
The constitutional protection against the arbitrary state interference with parental rights should not be extended to prevent the States from protecting children against the arbitrary exercise of parental authority that is not in fact motivated by an interest in the welfare of the child…The almost infinite variety of family relationships that pervade our ever-changing society strongly counsel against the creation by this Court of a constitutional rule that treats a biological parent’s liberty interest in the care and supervision of her child as an isolated right that may be exercised arbitrarily.
Let the discussion begin…
To read the sources cited in this post, click on the following links: