Coerced Use of International Law Violates Principle of Self-determination
In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to impose the death penalty on a group of 17-year-olds who engaged in a thrill killing of a middle-aged woman. In that decision, Roper v. Simmons, the Court used the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as non-binding, but persuasive authority to support their view. The contention was that every nation in the world except the United States had banned the use of the juvenile death penalty.
There are two cases pending before
the Supreme Court that seek to push Roper another step forward. These cases involve juveniles who have been sentenced to life
in prison without parole. Among other arguments, it is again asserted that the United States is alone in employing this sentence.
However, now the argument is
being made that the CRC is not just persuasive authority, but it is binding
on the United States under the doctrine of customary international law. Amnesty International and a host of other international lawyers have filed a brief contending that international law requires the United States to follow the dictates of the CRC even though this nation has not ratified
On behalf of 16 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, I wrote an amicus brief responding to the brief filed by Amnesty International. It is simply not true that the United States is the only nation that imposes the life sentence for juvenile offenders—despite Amnesty’s claim to the contrary.
You may read my entire brief as well as the brief of Amnesty International at
Parentalrights.org. Here we have printed for you the final section of my brief. In this section, I take on the argument of Amnesty International (the International Amici) that the Declaration of Independence supports the use of international law to resolve current domestic legal cases in the United States. I hope you enjoy it.
What you can do
If you are concerned about preserving American sovereignty, particularly in
the areas of family rights, visit Parentalrights.org. Founded by Mike Farris in 2007, this grassroots organization seeks to prevent U.S. ratification of the CRC and
to protect the fundamental liberty of parents to direct the upbringing of their children through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“Only an amendment to the U.S. Constitution can protect traditional parental rights both from erosion in our courts system and from the threat of customary international law, which is being argued here,” Farris says.
You can also reach Parentalrights.org at (540) 751-1200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.