Tuesday, February 17, 2004
This article (thanks to Howard Bashman) describes a proposed parents'-rights amendment to Florida's Constitution. Although the article focuses primarily on the connection between the amendment and the specific issue of abortion (i.e., parental notification), I wonder what we ought to think about "parents' rights" more generally? Certainly, many of our colleagues in the legal academy regard arguments about parental rights with more than a little suspicion, noting that -- among other things -- such "rights" are inconsistent with liberal notions of autonomy and individualism. On the other hand, are robust protections for the rights of parents to (in the Supreme Court's words) "direct and control the upbringing of their children" an implication of the subsidiarity principle? I know that my co-blogger Mike Scaperlanda has written about this, in an excellent review of Professor James Dwyer's book on vouchers. Any thoughts?