Aren't Parental Rights Already Protected Under the Tenth Amendment, Rendering the Parental Rights Amendment Unnecessary?

The Tenth Amendment states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." This provides no protection for parental rights vis-a-vis the state, however, because the Constitution makes no distinction between those powers reserved to the States and those rights reserved to the people. Does the State have the power to intrude into homes without proof of abuse and neglect, or do parents have a right to halt such intrusion? This Amendment has no bearing on that question.

In addition, the Tenth Amendment offers no protection to parental rights against a treaty adopted by the United States according to the U.S. Supreme Court. “To the extent that the United States can validly make treaties, the people and the States have delegated their power to the National Government and the Tenth Amendment is no barrier.” Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1, 18 (1957).

Even though we may think this view is inconsistent with the intention of the Founding Fathers, we are faced with the reality that it is the prevailing law of this country.

Moreover, there is not a single case that uses the Tenth Amendment that serves as a basis for protecting parental rights. The core purpose of the Tenth Amendment is to protect the power of state governments. Most parental rights conflicts are with states, not the federal government. If anything, the Tenth Amendment – as it is currently interpreted – protects state power over parents, not parental rights.