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1/11/2013 12:01:42 PM
Scott Woodruff--HSLDA
Virginia--Calls Needed to Help Parental Rights Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Virginia--Calls Needed to Help Parental Rights Bill

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

In a world where your right to parent your child is under fire from
many directions, Virginia has an opportunity on Monday to help move
protection of those rights to a whole new level. We need your help
right away!

On Monday at 8 a.m. the Virginia Senate's Courts of Justice Committee
will hold a hearing on SB 908, a bill that will create a state law
declaring that parental rights are fundamental, and providing the
maximum protection against infringement by the state.

Without this law, a court might decide that your parental rights are
not fundamental and that the government can push aside your decisions
about how to raise your kids if the government has nothing more than a
"rational" reason. SB 908 will make it crystal clear that your right
to make decisions about your kids gets the same protection as our
other most precious rights.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call your senator, if he or she is on the committee, and ask
him to support the bill. Your message can be as simple as: "Please
vote YES on SB 908. The right of parents to make decisions about their
children should be protected the same as our other most precious
rights."

Contact information for senators on the committee is listed below.
Use our Legislative Toolbox http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=16807 to
find out the name of your Virginia state senator.

Please come to the hearing on Monday morning. It will be in Senate
Room B in the General Assembly Building at 910 Capitol St., Richmond.
Give yourself plenty of time to find parking, and remember that you
will pass through a metal detector before entering the building.
Well-behaved children are welcome.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Senator Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (Chairman)
(804) 698-7503
email: district03@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Richard L. Saslaw
(804) 698-7535
email: district35@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Henry L. Marsh III
(804) 698-7516
email: district16@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Janet D. Howell
(804) 698-7532
email: district32@senate.virginia.gov

Senator L. Louise Lucas
(804) 698-7518
email: district18@senate.virginia.gov

Senator John S. Edwards
(804) 698-7521
email: district21@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Linda T. Puller
(804) 698-7536
email: district36@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Mark D. Obenshain
(804) 698-7526
email: district26@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Ryan T. McDougle
(804) 698-7504
email: district04@senate.virginia.gov

Senator A. Donald McEachin
(804) 698-7509
email: district09@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Richard H. Stuart
(804) 698-7528
email: district28@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel
(804) 698-7527
email: district27@senate.virginia.gov

Senator William M. Stanley
(804) 698-7520
email: district20@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Thomas A. Garrett
(804) 698-7522
email: district22@senate.virginia.gov

BACKGROUND

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 our 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.

While SB 908 is on the committee's agenda for Monday, there is no
guarantee the committee will actually take it up, though we certainly
hope it will. About 20 other bills are on its agenda as well.

I will be there and ready to testify on Monday. I hope to see you
there!

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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