SECOND REGULAR SESSION
House Concurrent Resolution No. 50
96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES BAHR (Sponsor), LEACH, FITZWATER, BRATTIN, CRAWFORD, FRANKLIN, SOMMER, SCHIEBER, ALLEN, SHUMAKE, JONES (89), McCAHERTY, LONG, WALLINGFORD, TILLEY, LASATER, BURLISON, KOENIG, PARKINSON, MARSHALL AND KELLEY (126) (Co-sponsors).
WHEREAS, the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution of the United States and the State of Missouri; and
WHEREAS, our nation has historically relied first and foremost on parents to meet the real and constant needs of children; and
WHEREAS, the interests of children are best served when parents are free to make child-rearing decisions about education, religion, and other areas of a child's life without state interference; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court in Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) has held that "This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition"; and
WHEREAS, however, the United States Supreme Court in Troxel v. Granville (2000) produced six different opinions on the nature and enforceability of parental rights under the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the Troxel decision has created confusion and ambiguity about the fundamental nature of parental rights in the laws and society of the several states; and
WHEREAS, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has been proposed and may soon be considered for ratification by the United States Senate, which would drastically alter this fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children; and
WHEREAS, this Convention has already been acceded to by 192 nations worldwide, and has already been cited by United States courts as "customary international law"; and
WHEREAS, international influence is being exerted on the United States Supreme Court, as demonstrated in Roper v. Simmons (2005), where "the Court has referred to the laws of other countries and to the international authorities as instructive for its interpretation" of the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the following has been introduced in the United States Congress as an Amendment to the United States Constitution to prevent erosion of the enduring American tradition of treating parental rights as fundamental rights:
"SECTION ONE: The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.
SECTION TWO: Neither the United States or any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.
SECTION THREE: 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."; and
WHEREAS, this Amendment will add explicit text to the United States Constitution to forever protect the rights of parents as they are now enjoyed, without substantive change to current state or federal laws respecting these rights; and
WHEREAS, such enumeration of these rights in the text of the United States Constitution will preserve them from being infringed upon by the shifting ideologies and interpretations of the United States Supreme Court; and
WHEREAS, such enumeration of these rights in the text of the United States Constitution will preserve them from being infringed upon by treaty or international law:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby affirm the "Parental Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution" as presented to the United States Congress and as referenced herein; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Missouri General Assembly urges the members of the Missouri Congressional delegation to support the proposed Amendment by cosponsoring the joint resolution presented in their legislative body as appropriate; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Missouri General Assembly urges members of the United States Congress to propose the Parental Rights Amendment to the states for ratification; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare properly inscribed copies of this resolution for Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation.