Sutherland Newsletter – March 14, 2008

1.Sutherland Adjunct Fellow, Bill Duncan, on Parental Rights

In a new essay, “Parents and Education in Europe and the United States,” Bill Duncan, Sutherland adjunct fellow, highlights the looming dangers to parental rights that are surfacing in the United States.  In the essay, Duncan compares the current state of parental rights in Europe with the pro-parental-rights philosophy that has, up to this point, guided US court decisions in these matters.



Duncan highlights key Supreme Court cases that established the fundamental liberty interest of parents, noting, “the [US Supreme] Court…recognized ‘the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control.’ Interestingly, the Court once again repudiated state-centered approaches to the family: “[t]he child is not the mere creature of the State.”


2.Sutherland Urges SB 81 Veto Unless Immigration Task Force is Implemented

The Sutherland Institute is calling on Governor Huntsman to veto SB 81: Illegal Immigrationunless the issue of the Immigration Task Force, as outlined under SB 97, has been firmly resolved and established. The Immigration Task Force would review and make recommendations on federal and state laws, programs, and policies that relate to the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants residing in Utah.

“For many legislators and the Institute, the passage of SB 81 was predicated upon the passage of the task force,” stated Paul T. Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute. “Passing SB 81 without passing SB 97 creates a piecemeal approach to immigration policy for the state and a poor foundation to find broadly acceptable, constructive, and lasting solutions.”


While testifying before a Senate committee on February 13, 2008, Mero said that the Immigration Task Force would allow us to have a serious and much-needed debate about the principles at play in determining sound immigration policy for the state. Mero pointed to the principle of federalism, a humane rule of law, and the nature of family and community as starting points for discussion in the task force.