WASHINGTON -- Representative Jim Banks (R-IN) yesterday introduced on the floor of the U.S. House a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment to protect parental rights. Joining Rep. Banks on the measure, House Joint Resolution 36 (H.J. Res. 36), were fifteen original cosponsors representing districts from around the country.

"A child's mental, physical, and emotional well-being is predicated on the ability of their parents to direct their upbringing and education," Rep. Banks said in a statement on Wednesday. "It was not the intention of our Founding Fathers to leave government bureaucrats and elected officials in charge of deciding what is in the best interest of someone else's child. As a father of three little girls, I find this simply unacceptable and I urge my colleagues to join me in solidifying the American tradition of parental rights as fundamental rights protected by the U.S. Constitution."

"We are excited to have Rep. Banks taking the lead on this important protection for children," declared attorney Jim Mason, president of ParentalRights.org and a proponent of the amendment. "It is a crucial question that too few are talking about: who will safeguard the child's rights until she can guard them for herself? The answer is obvious; no one will better advocate for a child and sacrifice for a child than the child's parent."

The proposed Amendment would provide that "the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right." Proponents believe the measure would correct a 2000 Supreme Court ruling that robbed parental rights of key constitutional protections, leaving the family vulnerable to a wide range of interpretations in lower federal and state courts.

Adoption of a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress, meaning bipartisan support will be necessary to move it to the states for ratification.

Lawmakers interested in cosponsoring H.J. Res. 36 proposing an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution regarding parental rights should contact Tanner Spencer in Representative Banks's office.

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