Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Elena Kagan's Description of Christian Homeschooling Family Causes Concern

This is from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association's Website:

Full Senate to Vote on Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations

July 26, 2010

On Tuesday, July 20, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send Elena Kagan’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court to the full Senate for approval. The committee vote was 13–6. It is expected that the full Senate will vote on Ms. Kagan’s nomination sometime this week or next week.

HSLDA has previously voiced our concerns about Ms. Kagan’s nomination due to her support of international law. These concerns grew after Senator Chuck Grassley (IA) asked her pointed questions about her reliance on international law.

We have now found out additional information that may reflect Ms. Kagan’s views on homeschooling. In the 1980s, Ms. Kagan—fresh out of law school—clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. At that time, HSLDA was battling in state courts for homeschool freedom. One particular case we handled in Ohio was State v. Schmidt, 505 N.E.2d. 627 (1987). In that case, a homeschool family was convicted of failing to send their child to school, and the conviction was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court. HSLDA petitioned for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it was denied.

Ms. Kagan reviewed the case for Supreme Court Justice Marshall. You can view a copy of her memo below. She recommended against the Supreme Court taking this case, saying:

[The Schmidts] are self-described born-again Christians who adhere to a literal interpretation of the Bible and have little sympathy with the secular world. When their child reached school-age, they decided to educate her at home. They did not seek the permission of the school superintendent; they simply did not enroll her in school.

Ms. Kagan went on to imply that the family’s expression of religion had not been infringed upon by the school district because the family was not being compelled to attend public school. She said that asking permission to homeschool was reasonable. The Schmidt family objected to asking for permission to homeschool because of their religious beliefs.

During Ms. Kagan’s confirmation hearings, Senator Jeff Sessions asked Ms. Kagan what she meant in her memo. Kagan didn’t back away from her memo. Read the full text of Senator Sessions’ questions and her answers online. Question 17 deals with the Schmidt case.

The full Senate will vote on Ms. Kagan’s nomination sometime before the August recess. We encourage you to call your two U.S. senators and share with their staff your thoughts about Ms. Kagan’s confirmation.

You can reach your two U.S. senators by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or toll-free at 866-220-0044. You can find your U.S. senators by using HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox.

Other Resources

Read Elena Kagan’s law clerk notes concerning Schmidt v. Ohio (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We Need SR 519 NOW!

We Need SR 519 NOW!

…and here’s why.

With November elections coming up, timing is everything. If we can focus on the Parental Rights Amendment during the August recess and beyond, we can add more cosponsors between now and November, as candidates looking to win their seats begin to feel the popularity of our cause. August through Election Day is a crucial opportunity for the Amendment. But we can’t take advantage of that if we have to spend August (or worse, September and October) finishing up with Senate Resolution 519 (SR 519).

And we don’t dare save SR 519 until after the elections. The current leadership have made clear that they will use any chance to push their agenda, which is unwanted by the majority of Americans. Historically, a lame duck Congress such as we are likely to have for November and December is just such an opportunity. Voters have “won the election” and let their guard down, and BOOM – lawmakers on the way out leave behind one final mess. This year, that mess could very well include ratifying the United NationsConvention on the Rights of the Child.

But not if SR 519 reaches 34 cosponsors before then.

And that’s why we need to get just 9 more senators on board this month!

Action Items

1. Call your Senators and urge them to support U.S. sovereignty and American families. Urge them to cosponsor SR 519 to end the threat of ratifying the CRC. (Get talking points here.) For your senators’ status and phone number, visit

2. Give generously to our Declaration Campaign to fund ads decrying the CRC, and making your senator’s position on it public knowledge. Ads will run August 2, so time is running out!

3. Pass it on. Time is pressing, and more calls will mean faster success. Please forward this email to family and friends, post it on bulletin boards, add it to Facebook, Twitter, and so forth.

Together we will win to secure America’s future!

Gratefully Yours,

Michael Ramey
Communications Director

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Supreme Court Nominee Favors Use of International Law

This article was on the Homeschool Legal Defense Association's Website and I wanted to pass it on. It shares with us how Elena Kagan could be a threat to our parental rights because she favors using international law when deciding cases that come before the bench. This is not a new trend, but it is a dangerous one. Our country should be ruled by it's own citizens and it's own laws. Because of this concern the HSLDA is recommending we call our Senators to try and stop this nomination. For more review of Elena's history with her preference for International law read their other article “Will Elena Kagan use International Law as Supreme Court Justice?”.

Elena Kagan Confirms Her Support for International Law

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations

Melanie Palazzo
Congressional Action Program Director

July 12, 2010

HSLDA urges our members and homeschoolers nationwide to call their two U.S. senators and express their opinions on the nomination of Elena Kagan for Supreme Court.

Elana Kagan was recently nominated by President Obama to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. Ms. Kagan underwent a four-day confirmation hearing held by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee ending July 1.

HSLDA has been concerned about Ms. Kagan’s nomination because of her support of international law over the U.S. Constitution while she was Dean of Harvard School of Law. Our concerns were not alleviated, but only grew with Kagan’s answers during her hearing.

For instance, Senator Chuck Grassley (IA) asked Ms. Kagan on the second day of the hearings, “Should judges look to foreign law for ‘good ideas.’ ”

Ms. Kagan responded, “I am in favor of good ideas wherever we can get them.”

Senator Grassley later asked, “If you were confirmed, would you rely on or cite international foreign law when deciding cases?”

Ms. Kagan’s response: “It depends. There are some cases in which the citation of foreign law or international law might be appropriate.” (Watch the hearings in their entirety online.)

We are concerned about Kagan citing foreign or international law as a Supreme Court justice because of the danger that could ensue if she ever cited the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as precedent in a Supreme Court opinion. This treaty could severely limit parental rights. To learn more about why Kagan citing the CRC as a Supreme Court Justice would be dangerous please read “Will Elena Kagan use International Law as Supreme Court Justice?”

We encourage you to call your two U.S. senators and share with their staff your thoughts about Ms. Kagan’s confirmation. We expect that the full Senate will vote on Ms. Kagan's nomination in the next couple of weeks.

You can reach your two U.S. Senators by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or toll-free at 866-220-0044. You can find your U.S. senators by using HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox.