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This bill would enact a law affirming that parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children and that such right shall not be infringed by the government unless the governmental interest as applied to the parents is of the highest order and not otherwise served.
01/07/13 (House) Prefiled and ordered printed
01/07/13 (House) Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/17/13 (House) Referred to Civil Subcommittee, House Courts of Justice
01/23/13 (House) Subcommittee hearing; passed with amendments
02/01/13 (House) Passed by Courts of Justice Committee
02/05/13 (House) Passed by House
02/06/13 (Senate) Referred to Senate Courts of Justice
02/15/13 (Senate) Passed by Senate Courts of Justice
02/20/13 (Senate) Passed by Senate
This bill was signed by the Governor on March 21, and is now law.
When people go to court to ask for protection of their rights against government intrusion, courts first decide whether the right is fundamental or not fundamental. If the judge decides it’s not fundamental, then the judge will allow the government to infringe on the right as long as it has a “rational” reason. But if the judge decides the right is fundamental, it gets much better protection. The government is allowed to infringe on it only if there is a truly compelling reason, and there is no other way for the government to accomplish a very high priority.
As of today, there is nothing in Virginia statutes or state constitution saying whether parental rights are in the category of fundamental rights. It’s left up to the whim of the judge. This is the problem SB 908 solves.
SB 908 does not give any new rights. It does not even say what rights you have right now as parents. That must be determined by looking other places—state and federal statutes, the state and federal constitution, etc. SB 908 simply gives much better protection to your rights that already exist.
Opponents of parental rights bills sometimes claim it would give parents a right to abuse their kids. This is incorrect. SB 908 does not give any parent any new right at all! You don’t have a right to abuse your kids right now, and you won’t have a right to abuse your kids after the bill becomes law. But your rights that are already there will get much better protection against government infringement
| Other Resources|
E-lert January 30, 2013: Urgent—Please Call—Crucial Tests for Parental Rights Bills Coming
E-lert January 31, 2013: Ask Iaquinto to Support Parental Rights
E-lert January 31, 2013: Iaquinto Clarification
E-lert January 31, 2013: Call Members of House Now, Only
E-lert February 5, 2013: Excellent Progress on Parents Rights!