Michael Farris Of HSLDA Responds To Publius Huldah’s Critique Of The Parental Rights Amendment


Editor's Note: After our very own attorney Publius Huldah, broke down the Parental Rights Amendment, we were contacted by Michael Ramey representing Michael Farris of Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), who was the architect of the Parental Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. Mr. Farris wanted the opportunity to respond to the article and so we are granting him the opportunity to do just that below. If you wish to read the previous article to understand Farris' response, you may do so by clicking here. Our hope is that this will air out both sides so that parents can make an informed decision. "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him." --Proverbs 18:17

The blog posted by Publius Huldah gives the appearance of a scholarly critique of the Parental Rights Amendment but it lacks any actual scholarship. In short, the author simply does not understand the subject matter of either parental rights or the basics of American Constitutional Law.

For readers who are unfamiliar with my thirty-six years of legal practice, let me give you a brief summary. I am a constitutional litigator who specializes in parental rights. I also teach constitutional law at Patrick Henry College where I am the Chancellor. I have published numerous law review articles and have written 15 books. I have argued before the Supreme Court of the United States, eight federal courts of appeals, and the appellate courts of thirteen states.

As the founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, I have a clear record as one of the leading defenders of parental rights in the nation.

In addition to teaching Constitutional Law at Patrick Henry College, I also coach the Moot Court team, a form of debate that simulates an argument before the Supreme Court of the United States. My team has won seven national championships—including the last five in a row. No other college has ever won more than one championship.

I should also disclose that I am the principal author of the Parental Rights Amendment.

In short, I have the background as a teacher, author, and litigator to explain both the Parental Rights Amendment and the basics of American Constitutional law.

Now let's turn to the analysis by Publius Huldah.

1. Amending the Constitution is not an act of the federal government.

Huldah contends that the Parental Rights Amendment "strips parents of their God-delegated authority over their children, and transfers that to the federal government." Her basis for this assertion stems from her erroneous application of the unobjectionable contention that Congress does not have the enumerated power to regulate the relationships between parents and children. However, the Parental Rights Amendment is not an act of Congress.

Huldah doesn't understand the nature of our Constitution.

The Constitution is not created by Congress. Congress was created by the Constitution. Congress (by itself) cannot create any amendment to the Constitution. Constitutional amendments are created by a two-thirds majority vote of both houses of Congress which is followed by ratification by three-fourths of the several states.

When the People's representatives have voted in such numbers for a constitutional amendment, it becomes part of the organic act of the People. We the People make the Constitution (including amendments) to control the government.

Huldah doesn't seem to understand a corollary principle: The Constitution (including amendments) never controls people—ever. Constitutions either grant government power or limit that power.

But her most fundamental error is to assert that the Parental Rights Amendment will be created by Congress. Simply not true.

2. The Parental Rights Amendment gives no power to Congress to regulate parents and children.

There is a very simple way of discovering when an Amendment gives power to Congress. The language of the amendment includes words like "Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation." You find such words in the 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, and 26th Amendments. The Parental Rights Amendment contains no such grant of power to Congress. And this is on purpose.

Rather than granting power to any level of government, the Parental Rights Amendment prohibits all levels of government from invading our rights as parents.

It is just like the Second Amendment in this regard. The Second Amendment gives no level of government the power to regulate guns. (Any such power comes from some other provision of the Constitution [state or federal]). And the Second Amendment is a limitation on the exercise of such powers.

3. Parents have both rights and responsibilities vis-à-vis their children.

Huldah asserts that parents have no rights over their children but only God-given responsibilities. If we are talking about man's relationship with God, then she is right. But when we are talking about a parent's relationship with the federal government then parents do have rights.

Let's make Huldah's theological and legal error plain with an analogy. As it pertains to a man's relationship to God, no man has the right to reject God. God grants every man the uncoerced opportunity to accept Him or reject Him—but with the decision come eternal consequences. No one has the right vis-à-vis God to reject God without consequences.

But, when it comes to man and government, no government has the authority to demand that a person believe in a god or even the One True God of the Bible. As it pertains to our relationship with government, men do have the right to believe as they wish about God, and government is without power to punish them for their choice of belief.

It is similar with government and our rights as parents. Who decides where your child goes to school? Parents, not government, have the right to make that decision. Who decides when your child should receive medical treatment? Parents, not government, have the right to make medical decisions.

The most important thing to realize when assessing Huldah's argument is that she rejects as a matter of theology the principle of parental rights in any context. She is simply wrong about this as she is about so many other things.

4. The Parental Rights Amendment does not give the Judiciary legislative power but constrains the judiciary's exercise of its existing power.

Parents need to have the ability to fight effectively against government in courts. That is the central reason we need the Parental Rights Amendment.

If the government tries to stop a parent from homeschooling or making medical decisions for their child, the parent needs the ability to fight the government in court and needs legal weapons that will help gain a victory.

Asserting that parental rights are God-given and inalienable won't work in current American courts. I have litigated hundreds of parental rights cases, while I doubt Publius Huldah has ever litigated anything at all. If she did know anything about parental rights litigation she would be familiar with Justice Scalia's opinion in the Troxel v. Granville decision of 2000. Scalia said that he believes that parental rights are inalienable rights from our Creator as listed in the Declaration of Independence. However, Scalia used his vote on the Supreme Court to declare that parents have absolutely no rights that judges can protect – because to have protected rights, such rights must be listed in the Constitution.

Now, I am not agreeing with Scalia's analysis. But I am bringing in a healthy dose of legal reality. Unless judges have actual legal texts that protect our rights, many of them don't believe that we have protectable rights at all.

If you want to get any legal protection from judges like Scalia (and there are a great number of judges like Scalia) you have to have a textual basis for arguing that we have protected rights.

Judges generally take three different positions on parental rights.

a. Parents have no judicially enforceable rights because there is no legal text for this right. (This is the Scalia position).

b. Parents have only a low-level right that may be easily overcome by the government. (This was the position of several of the other justices on the Supreme Court in the Troxel case.)

c. Parents have a fundamental right to raise their children which may be overcome only on proof of an exceedingly important necessity [e.g., to protect the child's life from abuse]. (Only Justice Thomas held this position in the Troxel case.)

The Parental Rights Amendment silences the first two classes of judges and gives a textual command that enforces the Clarence Thomas position (which was the traditional view of the Supreme Court before Troxel.)

If you want no rights for parents or if you want low-level rights, then do nothing. If you want the highest level of legal protection for parents, then you need to support the PRA to ensure that parental rights are a fundamental right found in the text of the Constitution.

5. Publius Huldah's argument about treaties is just dead wrong.

Let me add to my credentials just a little. In addition to a Juris Doctorate that I earned in 1976 from Gonzaga University, I recently earned the additional degree of an LLM in Public International Law from the University of London.

I have been one of the leading opponents of both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Publius Huldah purports to be against both of these treaties but claims that the PRA will enhance the treaty power of Congress.

She doesn't know what she is talking about. I am a proven leader against these treaties and she has no similar record on which to base her claim.

Treaties never trump the Constitution of the United States in American courts. However, there are two problems that are not fixed by that premise. First, American courts have started using treaties to interpret our Constitution. In at least two cases the Supreme Court has used the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to interpret the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The PRA prevents the Court from using international law of any kind to interpret the Constitution.

There is a second reason that we need Section 5. If a case ends up in an international court, then the normal rule is that the treaty trumps the nation's domestic law including the national constitution. However, under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, there is an exception to this rule. If a nation's Constitution is violated by a treaty relative to the capacity to enter into the treaty, then the Constitution will prevail over the treaty even in international courts.

Section 5 of the PRA contains a rule that precludes the United States from having the capacity to enter into any treaty that invades parental rights. Thus, this section would ensure a victory for American parents even if their case somehow ends up in front of an international court.

6. Who are you going to believe—a trusted advocate for parental rights or an anonymous blogger?

Publius Huldah says that "blind trust in charlatans and politicians is destroying us. They pretend to be what they are not in order to deceive you."

If I am only pretending to be an advocate of parental rights, I have kept up the charade for a very long time—over thirty years. I was named one of the Top 100 Faces in Education for the 20th Century by Education Week magazine because of my defense of the parental right to homeschool.

Huldah appeals to Scripture and yet fails to follow it. First, she knows that I claim to be a believer yet she feels free to call me a charlatan without ever coming to me under Matthew 18 to show me my sin and to give me an opportunity to either repent or show her she is in error.

Secondly, she clearly violates 1 Timothy 5:19 which says: "Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses." Not only have I been an elder in various churches for several decades, I think I have a legitimate claim to be an elder within the parental rights/homeschooling movement.

Accusations of me being a charlatan by anonymous bloggers should be given no credence at all. This is what Scripture says. Such accusations are not to even be "entertained."

I hope some good comes from this abusive blog posted by Publius Huldah. It is just sad that I have had to expend so much time answering her scurrilous accusations when there are real battles that must be fought.

But that is something that Publius Huldah doesn't seem to understand. I have been in the battle for over 30 years. I have won many and lost some, but there has never been any legitimate doubt of which side I was on.

Publius, what battles have you ever fought? Show me with your life which side you are on. Blogs are easy to write; real battles are much harder.

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About Michael Farris
Michael P. Farris is President of ParentalRights.org and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. Since founding HSLDA in 1983, Farris has used his extensive experience in both politics and appellate litigation to defend parental rights and help grow the organization to over 80,000 member families. Serving as president of ParentalRights.org, Farris devotes much of his time to meeting with members of Congress and delivering speeches across the country in an effort to raise support for the passage of a parental rights amendment. He is also the founding president and current Chancellor of Patrick Henry College, a Christian institution with the mission of training students through a classical liberal arts curriculum and apprenticeship methodology to impact the world "for Christ and for Liberty."
  • wabby99

    First when someone starts spouting off their credentials I immediately get suspicious. It sounds to me like Mr. Farris is more interested in belittling his challenger than in making good sound arguments to support HIS position instead of trying to put down Ms. Huldah. How it should be and how it is seems to be the real argument. My money is with Ms. Huldah and up until these articles I had no issue with Mr. Farris but anymore it seems the more degrees people have in this country the farther they stray from reality. Personally I couldn't get over the arrogant nature of the response in order to see any valid argument. I found myself marveling at this mans ego more than taking into consideration HIS point of view.

  • Roger Fredinburg

    I think the "Lawyers" have done enough damage to our constitution and to the country.
    I agree with Shakespear on the subject of Lawyers. I have interviewed Mr. Farris on occasion over the years. His heart is in the right place, but his method of defining his credentials is arrogant and self serving. Yes Michael, you are a brilliant "Lawyer", nobody can dispute that fact. So are 80% of the lunatics in power, and look where they have led the country... Are you capable of seeing beyond your agenda to find a rational critisism of your proposed amendment plausable and worthy of consideration? Publius Huldah is a commanding presence in her own right.

    You should re-think her opinion on this - I may be a lowly laymen and talk show host, but I know how activist judges can give new meaning to "mission creep" Michael, Hulda is right on this... Give it more thought - Please!

  • Righting Our Consent

    If Mr. Farris is a friend to our constitution–who needs enemies? Why is this language so deliberately vague given it would allow unlimited interpretations that could steal all parental authority?

    This proposed vehicle is an attempt to hijack yet another traditional authority (parents) and give that responsibility over to an international ruling class to shape and mold our posterity into their vision of subject(not citizen)conformity.

    Publius Huldah has proven she has one constructive agenda. That is to encourage us all to truly understand the way our government was consented to and its proper roles and for us to understand all the transgressions the elitists have taken so that armed with facts we can do something to to restore a valid government that obeys our constitution.

  • The Blue Tail Gadfly

    I stand with Publius Huldah.

    The "parental rights amendment" is nothing but a Trojan horse, just as the 17th Amendment was. The same goes for all of these new amendments being offered lately.

    This farce is a good example as to why some of the Founders were reluctant to add a Bill of Rights to our Constitution. They feared people would assume that if a Right was not specifically addressed in the Bill, it could eventually be interpreted as non-existing.

    Since we do have a Bill of Rights, it is the responsibility of We the People to be vigilant in safeguarding those Rights from what the Bible refers to as, "wolves in sheep's clothing".

    So the question is whether Mr. Farris is completely ignorant or being deceitful.

    Mr. Farris was kind enough to provide his illustrious credentials in great detail where we can answer that question ourselves, he is clearly not ignorant; but neither is he wise.

    Instead of fixing the underlying problems by enforcing existing laws and adhering to principles, the "solution" we are always told, is to create more laws and regulations, e.g. gun and immigration laws.

    Enforce the Supreme Law of the Land and all these manufactured problems will cease to exist.

    The real solutions were pre-installed in the Constitution, all it takes is for a simple majority of We the People to realize it and start holding those in power accountable; no matter what side of the aisle they claim to be on.

    "I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves: and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their controul with a wholsome discretion, the remedy is, not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. this is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." --Thomas Jefferson 1820 September 28. (to William C. Jarvis)

    http://www.yamaguchy.com/library/jefferson/jarvis.html

    One would think, given Mr. Farris's history in education, he would be in favor of education before laws, especially laws that give the SCOTUS dominance over us. Guess not.

  • ppanthers

    In this day and age, when everything is done 'under the table' with 'backroom deals', there is great cause to examine, in minute detail, every single letter of ANY bill or piece of legislation to be offered that would affect the lives and welfare of our citizens, especially of our children, the next generation. If any piece of legal work is worth it's weight in salt, it will stand the scrutiny of all involved. In no way, at no time, should we ever take someone's word for anything. The Bible says to "Prove all things. and to "hold fast to that which is good". If this bill is submitted for others' scrutiny, then it should be discussed, hashed and rehashed to make sure there are no misconceptions, hidden innuendos or other nefarious applications that would have any negative impacts, should it be accepted or adopted or written into law. ANYONE who claims to be a Christian, should follow Jesus teachings and be humble, wise and harmless as a dove. There are however, wolves in sheep's clothing, who go about parading themselves as the Pharisees did in Jesus' day, all puffed up with their self righteousness and pride, whom Jesus also condemned for their wickedness towards the people and God. They had a 'form of godliness but denied the power thereof" that is, power to change their hearts. If this Mr. Farris is truly a Christ like person, he will demonstrate that and won't mind being examined and would and should welcome it all with a humble heart. THAT, is what the Bible teaches. Anything else is false, a religious spirit, empty and void of spiritual life. If there is anything good to be gained from this at all, it should be to divide the wolves from the sheep, the tares from the wheat and the false from the true. Let's compare it all with God's word. So far, it has failed that test. It does not matter what 'organization' one belongs to. That won't save anyone from the judgment of God when we all stand before His throne to give an answer as to what we did with that which He entrusted to us here on earth and whether our works are to be burned up with fire or receive an eternal reward. Let us all consider the fruits of our labors and see if they bring forth life or death, self aggrandizement or humility and love of others. We are put here to make a choice as to whom we will serve and love and ultimately be with eternally. Let's pray we all make the right choice to follow God and His righteousness. Then, all these things will be added unto us. Instead of us seeking things, let us seek to know and follow God, Jehovah, Yeshua, the only True and Living God. That is the only fruit that will count.

  • Bob in Florida

    But, what you say we must do - pass the Parental Rights Amendment - to defeat the Scalia argument that there is no legal text to cite to allow parents to have rights to direct their children's education, medical care, etc., requires that we do exactly what the writers of the Constitution did not want to do - enumerate each and every right we have.

    Their reason was that this would require that we enumerate each and every right and to leave one out would imply we don't have that right. Their chosen approach was to only define the powers given to the government and all others were reserved to the States or the People.

    Are you not advocating we do exactly what they didn't want to do - enumerate each and every right?

    • chewinmule

      You folks need to get off your hands and knees before the Marxists. We have engaged in the exercise of " picking the black pepper from the fly feces" and allowing the progressive "judges/lawyers" to make the "call' on our "find"!

      The document says , "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness", yet SCOTUS continues to "find new rights" in successive generations under the "common good" and "general welfare" tent. At present "progressives" have rendered Merriam Webster's contribution to man's edification useless in our "culture".

      "Enumerated Powers" of the Government were meant to limit their power. If it says they can do it, then they can do it under Constitutional Authority. How they exercise those powers is not left up to them and "We the People" have the final say. There is no inference otherwise.

  • Mike F

    As to the interest in Publius' background as an attorney, what difference does it make. Either what she wrote is right or wrong. She could be a retired SC Justice or a nobody from Podunk, Arkansas. It does not matter. They need to get the focus off of who she might be to what she wrote. Her argument was spot-on! Either we will follow the Constitution or we will not. Right now, we will not, so why add another door for the enemy to dash through and make it easier to attack the family?

    As I see it, parents already have the rights the PRA proposes to grant or guarantee; and right now, the SC has no right to interfere (even though they do). So, of course, the way to make it "better" is to give the SC the power to define everything for us stupid little people.

  • http://grumpyelder.com/ Grumpy

    First of all the Constitution is starting resemble the end result of an old second grade game teachers used to call gossip. They line up 40 kids and whisper a short phrase to the first kid, who would repeat it to the second -- all the way around the room. The end result was nothing like whatever the teacher originally said..

    Publius Hudlah likes to use the original meaning of the Constitution-- Micheal Farris, when he's not attacking others, or trying to convince everyone of his superiority seems fond of the gossip game way of interrupting the document..

    Ever notice that as more lawyers, and less ordinary people have become involved with the wording of proposed laws and Constitutional Amendments both have become longer, and more wordy. I've come to the conclusion that's done intentionally - It keeps lawyers perpetually employed.. This amendment isn't close to being ratified and already we have lawyers arguing about what it means.

    Mr Farris, recently I've seen a lot of discussion about whether or not a treaty ratified by the Senate could be used to supersede the Constitution ,,

    Article VI Clause 2

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    There is a very distinct break between "Pursuance thereof" -- "and all treaties made" While the Court may have held in the past that treaties don't trump the Constitution, that's no guarantee of where future interpretations of interpretations may lead. That's the way the gossip game works.. My grandchildren only have a fraction of the freedom I took for granted 50 years ago..

    May I suggest you rewrite the proposal in nice simple language, so simple lawyers can't debate it now or ever

  • 25_20

    The issue in this discussion is whether parents are better off under the proposed amendment or worse off. I suggest they are better off.

    Here’s what the proposed amendment, in part, says:

    “SECTION 1

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

    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.

    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.

    * * *

    Now imagine you are a court that has been assigned to hear the case of parents suing the county child welfare agency which has removed the child from the parents because the parents have enrolled the child in a rattlesnake club, the purpose of which is to
    become comfortable draping the snakes around one’s neck.

    The parents claim they have the fundamental right to do this under Section 1. The state claims it has the right under Section 3 to remove the child in order to protect its life.

    Once the issue has been joined, the court has a very limited path to follow in making its decision. Past cases (precedent) and Section 3 itself tell the court that whenever a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT (Section 1) is involved, the state may interfere only if it has a COMPELLING INTEREST, or to say it another way, a government interest “of the
    highest order” (Section 3). That is called the STRICT SCRUTINY standard of
    review, meaning that the state’s action will be strictly examined and upheld
    only if it is a vital, compelling interest.

    What the proposed amendment provides is exactly what parents should want. The proposed amendment gives them a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to raise and educate their children and the courts are constrained to allow interference with that only if there is a COMPELLING state interest.

    How does the hypothetical case come out? I don’t know. I suppose the parents will put on evidence that members of this snake club have never been injured and several have gone on to become presidents of the United States. The state, on the other hand, will assert its compelling interest in protecting the child’s life from even the chance of needless death and will assert the parents’ conduct is reckless.

    Once you understand that courts are constrained by past cases in interpreting the language with which they are faced, the proposed amendment looks good. Without it, in the hypothetical case, the parents would lose for sure because in the absence of the proposed amendment, it is not certain there is a fundamental right, and therefore, it is unlikely that strict scrutiny would apply. Instead, the judicial inquiry may be whether there was ANY REASONABLE BASIS for the state’s action. If this standard is used
    any fair minded person would have to agree there was at least a reasonable
    basis for state intervention.

    The point is that even in this extreme example, the parents, relying on the proposed amendment, would have a chance that they wouldn’t have without it.

    One last caveat. For those who want to argue that talking about courts is a waste of time because parental rights are God given, save that argument for Sunday school. It wont do you any good before any court in the land, and it is the courts that are deciding these matters. By concentrating on philosophical positions that can't do you or anyone else any good in court, you do yourself and others a disservice.

    Bill Lafferty

    • Mike F

      What if, instead of a club with rattlesnakes, it was a gun club? In some states and with our current Dept. of Justice, they would see this as dangerous and step in to further drive their anti-gun agenda. This is much more likely than the "extreme" example you used. What if it was a pro-life association the parents enrolled their teenage daughters in so that they would better understand abortion? We already see government stepping in to provide help to get abortions through public schools and "the pill" etc. Section 3 opens a door and establishes a foundation for fed intrusion that does not legitimately exist right now.

    • 25_20

      Hello Mike

      You write…Section 3 opens a door and establishes a foundation for fed intrusion that does not legitimately exist right now.

      Without the proposed amendment, the government can now insert itself in the snake club example, or the gun club example, or the pro-life example. The government has no need of Section 3 for these intrusions. All it has to do is raise the magic "best interests of the child" mantra.

      In fact, all section 3 (in combination with the "fundamental right" language of Section 1) does is provide for parents what they now do not have: a requirement that the government meet the highest requirements to justify that intervention. when there is a "fundamental right" (Section 1) the government must meet the highest standard of review, strict scrutiny (Section 3). Courts are reluctant to approve of government interventions under the strict scrutiny standard of review.

      Parents lose nothing under the proposed amendment. They gain a strict scrutiny standard of review, which they now do not have.

      Bill Lafferty

    • Patriotsam

      Just who selects this highest standard?

    • 25_20

      Hello Patriotsam,

      "Compelling state interest" or "government interest of the highest order" or "strict scrutiny" all mean the same thing: that the government must show some extraordinary need to intervene. Courts then compare the need stated by the government with the interests of the parents and the child.

      Can this comparison be abused? Of course. But historically, courts have been straightforward and honest in making these comparisons.

      And finally, again, requiring the compelling state interest to justify state intervention is something parents now do not have. If the proposed amendment does not exist, then the state need only show that its intervention is "rational" or "important," relatively easy standards to meet.

      Bill Lafferty

    • Guest

      Bill Lafferty, are you joshing me?

      "Compelling state interest" or "government interest of the highest
      order" or "strict scrutiny" all mean the same thing: that the government
      must show some extraordinary need to intervene. Courts then compare
      the need stated by the government with the interests of the parents and
      the child."
      What is the basis for state standards and where found this ominous authority(?) under the "general welfare" or "for the common good" in the enumerated powers?

      "Can this comparison be abused? Of course. But historically, courts
      have been straightforward and honest in making these comparisons."

      Trust us, this is in our country's best Interest. Chief Justice Hugo Black, FDR's right hand man on the court, comes to mind. Straightforward and honest? Please stop my side is killing me! LOL

      "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only
      exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse
      from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes
      for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public
      treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose
      fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship
      The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred
      years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence:
      from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage,
      from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to
      selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to
      apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage."

      The compelling state interest is always about control and power. This is and always has been the case!

      My current "weather forecast" ; We are between complacency and apathy battling over answers to questions irrelevant to our survival as a Nation.

    • 25_20

      Hello Guest,

      You and I are having two different discussions. You are talking as if we are at the point where democracy has worn itself out because the voters have discovered that they can be paid from the treasury, and I am talking about working within the system until some other system is made available. It is important to make the observations you make in order to understand where we are, but it accomplishes nothing to make these observations if your immediate task is to deal with the court that is trying to take your kid away. None of what you write will help with that.

      But there is another point that needs to be raised. The judicial branch is unlike the legislative or executive in that the judicial branch has a code of ethics. And lawyers take it seriously. The legislative and executive branches are merely politicians and, as far as I can tell, they have no code of ethics.

      Of course, you can always find lawyers like Bill Clinton or Eric Holder, both of whom lied to federal judges. And you can always find judges who are corrupt. They dont take it seriously. But there are those who do, and in greater numbers than you might think.

      A story that has always stayed with me from law school ethics class is of a lawyer in Maryland, as I recall, who was late for court, had no change for the parking meter, but did have a lead slug in his pocket, which he put in the parking meter. He was disbarred. By the way, Bill Clinton was disbarred too.

      Bill Lafferty