Home School Legal Defense Association

J. Michael Smith, Esq.
President

Michael P. Farris, Esq.
Chairman

Justice Candidate a Threat to Parental Rights

Federal Relations Department
February 6, 2009

David Ogden has been nominated by President Barack Obama to the position of deputy attorney general of the United States, the second highest position in the Justice Department. His hearings are scheduled for today, February 5, 2009.

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Note: It would be best to call the local offices of your senators in your state, as phone lines on Capitol Hill are tied up by voters concerned about pending economic stimulus legislation.

Home School Legal Defense Association urges all of its members to immediately telephone both U.S. senators from your state to oppose the nomination of David Ogden.

The most important reason to oppose Ogden’s nomination is his belief that the rules found in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are already binding on the United States under the doctrines of international law.

In the Supreme Court case of Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005), Ogden argued in a brief that the rules banning the juvenile death penalty contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child were customary norms of international law “binding on all states.”

For background information on this doctrine, see Michael Farris’ article, “A Deeper Understanding of the Threat of International Law” in the November/December 2007 Home School Court Report.

This means that Ogden believes that the legal rules contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are already binding on the United States, even though this treaty has never been sent to the U.S. Senate for ratification.

Homeschoolers have long understood the dangers of this international treaty, which contains the core principle that the government may decide what it believes is best for each child without any proof of wrongdoing by the child’s parents. Ogden promoted the use of this UN treaty in the Supreme Court to reach the conclusion that America’s courts have the power to overrule state law, using international law as their guidepost for constitutional interpretation. Unfortunately, he was successful in doing so in the Roper case.

It also means that Ogden is a proven advocate for the position that international law should be used to interpret the Constitution of the United States and bind the decisions of our elected officials.

If this weren’t enough, Ogden has a history of representing Playboy and other purveyors of pornography in high-profile legal cases. He also challenged the legality of using filters on library computers to protect children from seeing pornography. It would be hard to imagine how Ogden would faithfully enforce the nation's pornography laws if he is placed in this position at the Justice Department.

The United States Senate needs to understand right now that the American public will not countenance the idea of the nation being led by people who believe that international law trumps American law.

Please call both of your U.S. Senators today to register your opposition to David Ogden.