This week, Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and James Lankford (R-OK) introduced S.3571, The Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act (FRRA), in the US Senate. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced the companion bill, H.6934, in the U.S. House.
The aim of these bills from a legal standpoint is to protect the traditional, natural role of parents in the lives of their minor children when it comes to instances or events under federal government control. This would include many areas that are funded by the federal government.
From a strategic standpoint, the bill has a similar aim: to further the discussion of parental rights in the federal government space.
The current Administration and many lawmakers in D.C. seem bent on riding over top of traditional parental rights to replace them with a “government knows best” ideology. By taking up this bill in committee, members of Congress can speak into that mindset with testimony and discussion that recognizes the vital traditional role parents play in keeping their children safe and cared for.
We realize that FRRA is not likely to pass the currently divided Congress, especially in an election year. (Congress consistently shortens their session and limits their focus in an election year to spend more time on their campaigns.) But with enough sponsors, FRRA can secure a committee or subcommittee hearing that can further the discussion of parental rights and what our children truly need.
This is why we are supporting FRRA in addition to our main focus, the Parental Rights Amendment (HJRes. 38): While passage and ratification of the Parental Rights Amendment into the U.S. Constitution is our ultimate goal, we are proud to support incremental legislation (like FRRA) to protect parental rights until that Amendment can be adopted.
The FRRA is fully endorsed and supported by the Promise to American’s Children coalition, of which your Parental Rights Foundation is proud to be a part. In this coalition, we stand alongside such policy powerhouses as Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), and Family Policy Council (FPC) to support the traditional role of parents in families for the good of their children.
The bill would establish as a matter of federal law that “[t]he liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and health care of their children is a fundamental right,” protected by strict judicial scrutiny (requiring a “compelling governmental interest of the highest order as applied to the parent and the child [that] is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”
You can read the entire text of S.3571 here. (It’s not very long.)
As I laid out above, the strategic aim of this bill is to garner enough cosponsor support to push for a committee or subcommittee hearing in the House or Senate. And you can help make that happen.
Please take a moment to call or email your U.S. representative and U.S. senators and urge them to sign on as a cosponsor of the appropriate bill—H.6934 in the House or S.3571 in the Senate.
Your message should be in your own words, but can be as simple as the following:
I am a constituent of Rep. _____, and I am concerned about government actors removing parents from their children’s lives. So, I would urge Rep. ____ to sign on as a cosponsor of H.6934, the Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act, so that we can secure a committee hearing and further the discussion on family and parental rights. Virginia Foxx is the lead sponsor. Please contact her office and sign on as a cosponsor of H.6934. Thank you.
Or, for your senators:
I am a constituent of Sen. _____ and I am concerned about government actors removing parents from their children’s lives. So, I would urge Sen. _____ to sign on as a cosponsor of S.3571, the Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act, so that we can secure a committee hearing and further the discussion on family and parental rights. Sen. Tim Scott is the lead sponsor. Please contact his office and sign on as a cosponsor of S.3571. Thank you.
While you’re at it, you can use the same message to urge your member of the US House to contact Rep. Debbie Lesko’s office and sign on as a cosponsor of HJRes. 38, the Parental Rights Amendment, at the same time.
You can contact your US lawmakers through their respective websites or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Thank you for taking action today to further parental rights!