Let us abide by the Constitution as it is written or amend it in the constitutional mode if it is found defective. — President Andrew Jackson, Farewell Speech, March 4, 1837

Parental Rights Amendment: Selling You and Your Kids Out to Big Government

July 8, 2013   ·   By   ·   6 Comments

parentsIf politicians introduced a bill mandating the slaughter of all human babies under the age of two years; but called it, “The Little Babies Protection Act”, establishment conservatives and unthinking people all over the Country would be clamoring for its passage.

We have become a shallow and easily deceived people. If it sounds good on the surface, we are all for it. We assume the proposal will live up to its name. 1 We don’t trouble ourselves to actually read proposals and analyze them before we clamor for passage.

The name, “parental rights amendment” (PRA), sounds so good!  But it actually strips parents of their God-delegated authority over their children, and transfers that authority to the federal government.

In order to understand this, you must first learn about “enumerated powers”.

Enumerated Powers

When WE THE PEOPLE ordained and established the Constitution for the United States, We listed, itemized - enumerated - every power WE delegated to each branch of the federal government over the Country at Large.  All other powers were retained by The States or The People.

James Madison, Father of our Constitution, says in Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from end):

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

Do you see? We delegated only “few and defined” powers to the federal government over the Country at Large. These are the “enumerated powers” actually listed in the Constitution. 2

These enumerated powers over the Country at Large concern:

  • Military defense, international commerce & relations;
  • Control of immigration and naturalization of new citizens;
  • Creation of a uniform commercial system: Weights & measures, patents & copyrights, money based on gold & silver, bankruptcy laws, mail delivery & some road building; and
  • With some Amendments, protect certain civil rights and voting rights.

It is only with respect to the “enumerated powers” that the federal government has lawful authority over the Country at Large. All other powers are “reserved to the several States” and The People. 3

So!  Where in the Constitution did WE THE PEOPLE delegate to the federal government power over children and their care and upbringing?  We didn’t.  Accordingly, it has no lawful authority over these objects.

Thus, any federal law, treaty 4, executive order, agency rule, or court opinion which pretends to exercise such power over children is unconstitutional as outside the scope of enumerated powers delegated to the federal government for the Country at Large. 5
See?  This is all very simple.

So then, how does the federal government go about obtaining lawful authority over the care and upbringing of children?  By means of lies, trickery and deceit:

The so-called “Parental Rights” Amendment


Let us now read it. Here it is from the website of the deceptively named, parentalrights.org:6


The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.


The parental right to direct education includes the right to choose public, private, religious, or home schools, and the right to make reasonable choices within public schools for one’s child.


Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.


This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.

No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.”

Look at Section 3!  We will go through each section.  But first, two general observations:

1. Parents have Responsibilities to their children, not “rights” over them.

The Creator God who - as recognized by the Signers of our Declaration of Independence - endowed us with unalienable Rights; also assigned to parents specific responsibilities to their children. 7 Among these are:

  • Provision for children: 2 Corinthians 12:14; Proverbs 13:22; 1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12.
  • Education and moral instruction of children:  Proverbs 1:8-9, 6:20-21, 13:1, 22:6 & 23:19-22; Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 4:9-10 & 6:1-7; Ephesians 6:1-4; 2 Timothy 1:5  & 3:15-17.
  • Discipline of children: Proverbs 13: 24, 15:5, 19:18, 22:15, 23:12-14, 29:15-17; Hebrews 12:5-11; Colossians 3:21.

Parents are supposed to provide for, care for, teach, protect, and educate their children.  NOT civil government!

2. The Judicial Power of the Federal Courts

Article III, Sec. 2, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution, enumerates the powers of the federal courts:

“The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;…”

“Judicial Power” refers to the power of courts to hear and decide cases.

Amendments are part of the Constitution.  Thus, federal courts have power to decide issues addressed by Amendments.

The PRA would transform “families” and “children” from matters over which the federal government now has no lawful authority to matters under the total control of the federal government.

The PRA is a delegation of lawmaking power over families and children to the federal government. Congress may make whatever laws it pleases pertaining to YOUR children; the Executive Branch may issue whatever rules or orders it pleases pertaining to YOUR children – and under Section 3 of the PRA, federal judges will decide whether these laws, orders & rules serve the government’s interest.  If so, you lose.

Lawsuits involving these matters would become cases “arising under this Constitution”, or “Laws of the United States”, or “Treaties”, which would ultimately be decided by five (5) judges on the supreme Court.  The authority of millions and millions of American parents would be transferred to five (5) judges on the supreme Court.

That Court has a long history of perverting every word of our Constitution it touches. 8 It is suicidal to transfer Family Authority to that Court.

Let us now look at each section of the PRA:

Section 1: The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.”

Just as the supreme Court sees the First Amendment as the source of our right to free speech, and they decide what speech is protected by that Amendment and what speech is not, 8 so it will see the PRA as the source of “parental rights”, and they will decide what “rights” parents have and what “rights” they do not have.

Consider also:  Do the words “upbringing” or “care” in Section 1 include religious training, discipline, diet, medical treatment, and whether the child may wield a hoe in the family garden?  What does it mean that these are not listed?  That parents have no “rights” regarding these issues? The supreme Court will decide what it means.

Section 2:  The parental right to direct education includes the right to choose public, private, religious, or home schools, and the right to make reasonable choices within public schools for one’s child.”

What is not included in the parental right to direct education? What is a “reasonable” choice?  Who decides what is not included and what choices are “reasonable”?  Federal judges decide.

“Section 3: Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.”

Do you understand this Section?  Whatever “parental rights” you think you have will be infringed by the federal government or the State governments if they have a good reason for it.  Federal judges will decide whether the federal or State governments have a good reason to infringe your “parental rights”.

“Section 4: This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.”

What?  Does this mean that parents retained the “right” to make these decisions?  Or does it mean that the PRA does not “protect” that right, hence parents no longer have it?

I suggest to you that federal courts will construe this section to mean that parents will no longer be permitted to make decisions about terminating or continuing medical care for their seriously ill, injured , or “defective” (Downs’ syndrome, birth defects, etc.) children.

Do not forget:  We elected as President a man who supports the murder of little babies who survive abortions.  9 Is this man going to appoint federal judges who disagree with the killing of children?

“Section 5: No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.”

The PRA does not stop the President and Senate from ratifying the UN Declaration on The Rights of the Child.

NO RIGHTS ARE GUARANTEED BY THE PRA! You cannot name one “parental right” which cannot be voided if the federal or state government shows federal judges that the government has an interest in voiding the right.

Further, since the PRA makes federal control of children an enumerated power, it is the PRA itself which would give the U.S. Senate constitutional authority to ratify the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of the Child!

The PRA is monstrously deceitful.

Here is the PRA which has been introduced in the current Session of Congress:  H.J. Res. 50

Here is a list of House sponsors of the PRA in this Session of Congress. Form delegations and go see your Representatives.  Instruct them!  I bet they never read it before they endorsed it.

Put Not Your Trust in Princes

People!  Your blind trust in charlatans and politicians is destroying us.  They pretend to be what they are not in order to deceive you.  Stop flaunting your blind trust as a mark of virtue.  Blind trust in humans is irresponsible – it is not a virtue.  PH


1 E.g., we assume the “Balanced Budget” Amendment is about curtailing federal spending.  Since we don’t look behind the name, we don’t know that the BBA is really about eliminating the enumerated powers limitation on spending & legalizing what is now unconstitutional spending.

2 See:  Congress’ Enumerated Powers, the President’s Enumerated Powers, & the Enumerated Powers of the Federal Courts.

3 Read the Tenth Amendment!

4 parental rights.org has been using the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child to terrorize parents into believing that only the PRA can save them from the UN Declaration.

You must learn about the treaty making powers of the United States.  The President and Senate may not lawfully circumvent the Constitution by international treaties – they may not do by treaty what they are forbidden to do by the Constitution.  Since the Constitution delegates NO powers over children to the federal government, they may not lawfully circumvent the Constitution by ratifying the UN Declaration.  These 2 papers explain the treaty-making power.

It is the PRA which would give the federal government lawful authority to ratify the UN Declaration!  So the PRA is a monstrous deception.

5 Accordingly, they are proper objects of nullification.

6 Parental rights.org periodically changes the text of their proposed PRA.  The version set forth herein was copied from their website during June 2013.

7 To my friends in the Ayn Rand camp:  These are historical facts – the Bible says what it says and our Framers believed it.  Ayn Rand had no argument with the Natural Law Principle that parents have the responsibility of raising their own children.

8 The supreme Court looked at the word, “liberty” in Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment and said it means “privacy”; and “privacy” means “women may kill their unborn babies”!  A short time later, they looked at the same word and decided that it means, “homosexual sex is a liberty right”!  Do you see?  That Court treats the 14th Amendment as Marquis de Sade’s play dough.

And look at how that Court has butchered the First Amendment:  That Amendment says, in part:

“Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech…”

Since speech control is not one of the enumerated powers delegated to Congress over the Country at Large; and since all legislative Powers granted by our Constitution are vested in Congress (Art. I, Sec. 1); neither the Executive nor Judicial Branches have power over “speech” for the Country at Large.

Regulation of speech is reserved to the States and the People (10th Amendment). The States exercised this retained power by means of State laws against defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intrusion upon seclusion, publicity given to private life, etc., etc.

Yet the supreme Court treats the First Amendment as the source of our right to free speech, and they decide what speech is “protected” by the First Amendment and what speech is “not protected” by the First Amendment.  If the former, you may say it; if the latter, you may not say it.  The supreme Court has usurped power to censor our speech!

So!  In Snyder v. Phelps (2011), the Westboro Baptists picketed, with vile and defamatory signs, the funeral of an American Soldier who was killed in action. The bereaved Father filed a lawsuit under various State Laws such as defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, etc.

The Jury found for the Father and held Westboro liable for $2.9 million in compensatory damages and $8 million in punitive damages.

But the supreme Court overturned the Jury Verdict and said that the Westboro Baptists had a “right” protected by the First Amendment to spew their malice at this young soldier’s funeral, and it mowed down the State laws which made such defamatory speech actionable.

This is how the supreme Court construes an Amendment which merely prohibits CONGRESS from making laws restricting speech! 

The federal government has no lawful authority over speech in the Country at Large!  Yet those lawless judges on the supreme Court have also seized power to forbid students from leading Christian prayers in the public schools!

9 Jill Stanek is an RN who worked in the Labor & Delivery Department in an Illinois hospital where aborted babies born alive were left to die.  Read her article where she proves that our President opposed Illinois’ Born Alive Infant Protection Act.  Obama wanted the babies to die.  How can you put YOUR children in the hands of judges this man nominates? PH

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Publius Huldah is a retired litigation attorney who now lives in Tennessee. Before getting a law degree, she got a degree in philosophy where she specialized in political philosophy and epistemology (theories of knowledge). She now writes extensively on the U.S. Constitution, using the Federalist Papers to prove its original meaning and intent. She shows how federal judges and politicians have ignored Our Constitution and replaced it with their personal opinions and beliefs. She also shows how The People can, by learning our Founding Principles themselves, restore our Constitutional Republic.
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  • Peter

    Excellent read! Publius even provides proof with footnotes…. thanks for the education!

  • StingraySFO

    And so the next gavel falls on our children……one more nail in the coffin that America now resides. COMMUNISM AT ITS WORST!
    As a father, grandfather, and great grandfather, but above all as a Patriot and Oath Keeper, I will put all efforts to bear on every one of my state and federal representatives to see that this erroneous effort to undermine parental responsibilities never sees the light of day, so help me GOD!

    (former Advisor to Congress)

  • Mike F

    PH, thanks for the great information. Why do they believe that we need an amendment to the Constitution to “give” us “rights” which we already have? I believe you are right in that there is an agenda behind this movement. It sounds so good; but for the “good” motives behind it, it is not needed; and for the bad motives, we will never recover.
    How do parents like the sound of “The Obama Youth”? If we do not discuss parent’s rights, duties or responsibilities in the Constitution; they are not allowed to regulate this area of the family.

  • David McElroy

    Excellent review, Publius! All three branches of the federal hydra have no respect for the original principles and intents of the US Constitution and certainly do not afford us any unabridged or uninfringed rights. They especially loathe the laws of nature and nature’s God. We have open tyranny emanating from the District of Criminals!

  • retiredday

    “We have become a shallow and easily deceived people.”

    Thus, it is a daunting task to wade through the labyrinthine legalese of progressive lawmakers. The trouble is, as you have pointed out, this proposed amendment establishes the government as the giver and definer of parental rights and responsibilities. In so doing, they bulldoze over the time-honored, Biblical view that God — not government — endows us with those rights and responsibilities.

    Again, as you have pointed out, the over-arching issue is that WE THE PEOPLE have given the federal government their certain enumerated powers. The reason that all other rights, responsibilities and powers are reserved to the several states and to the people is because the constitution enshrines the principle that, except for those few, enumerated powers, the PEOPLE and their STATES have AUTHORITY in all aspects of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    But, “a shallow and easily deceived people” just doesn’t get it.

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