Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Bob Loves to Monger in Fear

Ignorance, thy name is "Bob Dutko." (Apologies to Shakespeare.)

Today is the second day Bob reported on the story of a German teenager taken from her home because she was home schooled. Bob, of course, spewed his usual outrage. At one point he even claimed that the German laws enforcing homeschooling upon the children of Germany was a product of Adolph Hitler.

Nice. Bobbo throws out the H-word to defend his position. That's what happens when you don't command any facts.

As egregious and blatantly wrong the Hitler comment was, that wasn't the worst part.

The biggest idiocy Bob threw out was to claim that judicial activists are going to use international law to outlaw home schooling in the United States. Bob opined that the German case is an example of what could happen here. To support this nonsense, Bob pointed out that "judicial activists" David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsberg have cited international law to support decisions. Futhermore, Bob claimed that the U.N. could enact treaties and pressure the United States into ending home schooling.

This is all garbage. In other words, par for the course for Bob Dutko.

First, the United States has always borrowed foreign laws as a way of supporting and understanding the Constitution. In fact, borrowing foreign law goes all the way back to 1877, to a case called Pennoyer v. Neff. In Pennoyer, taught in every first-year [civil] procedure class, Justice Field borrowed concepts from public international law and made them part of the due-process clause of the United States Constitution. So not only is there a tradition of using foreign law as a way of defining complex issues, it's a way of understanding the history and traditions of legal problems.

Second, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that parents have a right to remove their children from compulsory education. In Wisconsin v. Yoder, an Amish family withdrew their children from high school based on the belief exposure to high school conflicted with their deeply held religious faith. In a 7-0 decision, the Supreme Court held that the State's requirement of compulsory formal education after the eighth grade would gravely endanger if not destroy the free exercise of respondents' religious beliefs. So while the State has an interest in making sure children are educated, parents can opt out of public education if it violates their First Amendment rights. I'm not sure how the United Nations is going to get around the U.S. Constitution.

So how exactly are those "activist judges" going to remove the right of parents to home school their children? Bob only offers wild-eye speculation, none of which is based on fact.

Typical for Bobbo.

Oh, and by the way, Bob should love the German school system. Not only does Germany have church-run schools, the German government pays for them.

With his blatant inability to use basic reasoning skills, I have to wonder: Was Bob home schooled?

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