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SF 63

as introduced - 87th Legislature (2011 - 2012) Posted on 03/14/2012 09:23am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A resolution
urging the members of the United States Senate to oppose ratification of the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

WHEREAS, the right of the parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children
is a fundamental right protected by the Constitutions of the United States and the state of
Minnesota; and

WHEREAS, our nation has long pursued the path of relying first and foremost on parents to
meet the real and necessary needs of children; and

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court in Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) has held that
"This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond
debate as an enduring American tradition"; and

WHEREAS, children are best served by the continued practice of requiring proper proof
of harm before the government intervenes in the family to override parental decisions in any
sphere of the child's upbringing; and

WHEREAS, certain members of the United States Senate have called upon the Secretary of
State and the President to forward to them the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the
Child for ratification; and

WHEREAS, Article VI of the Constitution of the United States provides that treaties that
are ratified by the United States Senate become a part of the "supreme law of the land" and that
state laws and constitutions are subservient to such treaties; and

WHEREAS, virtually all law that applies to children and families in Minnesota is state
law; and

WHEREAS, by virtue of the federal Supremacy Clause all Minnesota law regarding
children would be overridden if there is a conflict with this treaty if ratified; and

WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States would acquire primary jurisdiction to
legislate to meet our nation's legal obligation to comply with the treaty if ratified, thereby shifting
from Minnesota and her sister states to the Congress of the United States powers not formerly
delegated which are currently reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment to the United
States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the treaty is subject to the general rule of international law that "custom"
is binding law in many circumstances, rendering the text of a treaty an unreliable guide to its
future meaning; and

WHEREAS, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child at periodic intervals
publishes "General Comments" which are substantive additions to the obligations of state parties
already under the Convention; and

WHEREAS, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child makes regular
determinations of the meaning and the application of the treaty, and it would hold these
interpretations to be binding on the Congress of the United States and the courts of the United
States when interpreting and enforcing the treaty; and

WHEREAS, this represents a wholesale abandonment of the ultimate sovereignty of the
United States on matters within the scope of the treaty; and

WHEREAS, this abandonment violates the core principle of our self-government: to
wit, only American legislatures and the people themselves have the moral authority to make
law for America; and

WHEREAS, the substance of the treaty as interpreted and applied by this official United
Nations tribunal:

• bans all corporal punishment, including reasonable spanking by parents;

• gives the government review authority of a broad scope of parental decisions without the
necessity of proving that the parents are unfit or have harmed the child;

• allows children and government to override reasonable and ordinary decisions concerning
the religious upbringing of the child;

• allows the government the ability to review any parental decision concerning the
education of their child, even if that decision fully complies with the law of Minnesota;

• requires a level of socialized spending programs for the supposed needs of children
(which in too many cases simply employ more government workers) that would bankrupt any
American state; and

• grants to children a legally enforceable right to leisure and many other particular "rights"
that are contrary to American traditions and common sense; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that it hereby condemns
the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that it urges the United States Senate to reject its ratification.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be distributed to each member
of the United States Senate.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota is
directed to prepare copies of this memorial and transmit them to the President of the United
States, the President and the Secretary of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk
of the United States House of Representatives, the chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations, the chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Minnesota's Senators and
Representatives in Congress.