Eric Holder: Banning Homeschooling Doesn’t Violate Fundamental Rights

eric-holderI read an article written by Michael Farris, the founder and chair of HSLDA – the Home School Legal Defense Association.  In it he discussed the case made by government lawyers representing Attorney General Eric Holder during the court hearing for the Romeike family.  You may remember the Romeike’s sought political asylum in the United States due to Germany’s persecution of homeschooling families.  A federal district court judge granted the Romikes asylum here against the wishes of the Federal government.  The government appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration appeals and won.  HSLDA appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals where the case (Romeike v. Holder) will be heard.

Farris outlined three arguments made by the U.S. Department of Justice lawyers which should be of concern to American homeschooling families:

He said the first argument in essence is that a government isn’t violating anyone’s rights if homeschooling is banned altogether.

First, they argued that there was no violation of anyone’s protected rights in a law that entirely bans homeschooling. There would only be a problem if Germany banned homeschooling for some but permitted it for others.

Now in reality, Germany does permit some people to homeschool, but it is rare and in general Germany does ban homeschooling broadly—although not completely. (Germany allows exemptions from compulsory attendance for Gypsies and those whose jobs require constant travel. Those who want to stay at home and teach their own children are always denied.)…

…There are two major portions of constitutional rights of citizens—fundamental liberties and equal protection. The U.S. Attorney General has said this about homeschooling. There is no fundamental liberty to homeschool. So long as a government bans homeschooling broadly and equally, there is no violation of your rights. This is a view which gives some acknowledgement to the principle of equal protection but which entirely jettisons the concept of fundamental liberties.

Farris noted the DOJ’s 2nd argument was that the Romeikes failed to show there was discrimination based on religion since not all homeschooling families are Christian, and not every Christian believes they have to homeschool.

This argument demonstrates another form of dangerous “group think” by our own government. The central problem here is that the U.S. government does not understand that religious freedom is an individual right. One need not be a part of any church or other religious group to be able to make a religious freedom claim. Specifically, one doesn’t have to follow the dictates of a church to claim religious freedom—one should be able to follow the dictates of God Himself.

The United States Supreme Court has made it very clear in the past that religious freedom is an individual right. Yet our current government does not seem to understand this. They only think of us as members of groups and factions. It is an extreme form of identity politics that directly threatens any understanding of individual liberty.

A third argument that DOJ made was that the Romeikes did not meet the standard of being part of a social group with “immutable” characteristics that can’t change and should not be required to change.  They said the Romeikes could choose not to homeschool and send their children to public school and then teach from home since their children would have only been in school for 22-26 hours during the week.

There are two main problems with this argument. First, our government does not understand that families like the Romeikes have two goals when they chose homeschooling. There are things they want to teach and there are things they want to avoid their children being taught in the government schools.

Does anyone think that our government would say to Orthodox Jewish parents, we can force your children to eat pork products for 22-26 hours per week because the rest of the time you can feed them kosher food?

Freedom for the mind and spirit is as important as freedom for the body and spirit.

This argument necessarily means that the United States government believes that it would not violate your rights if our own government banned homeschooling entirely. After all, you could teach your children your own values after they have had 22-26 hours of public school indoctrination aimed at counteracting religious and philosophical views the government doesn’t like.

The second problem with this argument goes back to the definition of immutability. Immutable means a characteristic that cannot be changed or “should not be required” to be changed.

No one contends that homeschooling is a characteristic that cannot be changed. We simply contend that in a free nation it is a characteristic that should not be required to be changed.

Those of us who homeschool should be concerned because the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, in the government’s arguments essentially said that he believes that a law that bans homeschooling would violate no fundamental liberties.

Photo by Ryan J. Reilly (CC by 3.0)

Social Media Management


  1. says

    The net result of an abandonment of an education that was built upon the assumption of God and God as creator and law giver is an atheistic, evolutionist education is to ban anything that would seek to question it.

    • Kerston says

      Really? Is there anything people won’t blame Obama for? This stuff has been going on for years before Obama. Why do you think there is a HSLD? When will people realize evil has been running this country long before Obama. One the left and right. They have all been gradually leading/conditioning us for where we are today. Sooner people realize that the better..There is no real difference between the left and right.

      • Jill says

        Is there anything people won’t defend Obama for? We can’t presume to know who the anti-christ is, but it’s pretty obvious who’s side this administration is controlled by.

      • sojourner00 says

        Yes! But Obama is doing it with much greater effort and guile. Do not you see Obama is in a league that goes much further and lies much harder: It is unprecedented.

      • KingLettuce says

        What is unprecedented? If you read your history, all politicians are pretty much dirtbags. I don’t think Obama’s any more awful than unleashing two unnecessary wars in the ME that cost 200k lives or Jimmy Carter giving away the Panama Canal.

      • sojourner00 says

        I suggest you do some research into what Obama and his minions have been up to. Do not rely on the main stream media, they are deceiving you. Obama’s state of the union message was his same old lies! He is manipulating and brainwashing all who are willing to drink the Kool-Aide of deception to your demise.

      • KingLettuce says

        Care to provide some specifics? What league is he in that’s greater than GWB and Halliburton?

      • George says

        He has passed the N.D. A. A. Can now legally kill americans on american soil. Can legally confiscate anything we own. He is the end game. They are going to crash the dollar this year and martial law will be declared and then the new world order. Its all set up and ready to go. Welcome to the new third world America. He has openly mocked Christ! No other president has ever! He is also the most popular american president around the world which is weird and bizzar.He has passed over 800 executive oreders by passing congress

      • KingLettuce says

        I agree about killing Americans without trial or charge. A good example of unprecedented. Very troubling.

      • says

        Obama is a COMMIE and a traitor. All the black churches that supported ONLY BECAUSE HE IS BLACK also supported abortion thus no longer find favor in God’s eyes…they now serve satan.

      • Susan Pillsbury says

        I think it is more of a debate about the corrupt government and the cultural shift which would elect these socialists in the first place….verses parts of this country that are authentically conservative. One good thing is coming out of this corruption that is inherit in all big governnment, it is clarifying for people. We are learning what is really important to us and will either be part of the problem or the solution.

      • George says

        You are 100% right. But Obama is the end game to their final fruition of their plan for America. Hevhas signed over 800 executive orders bypassing congress against the constitution.

    • KingLettuce says

      Such inflammatory rhetoric doesn’t get anyone anywhere. One need only take a cursory look at the BIble to see that Obama does not fit ANY of the criteria of the Anti-Christ

      • Robert says

        In his “ObamaCare” there are parts that require everyone to have a microchip entered into your skin, and many others are involved with it

      • KingLettuce says

        You realize that the mark of the beast is not going to be forced on anyone and it will be an explicit choice? At one time people were saying credit cards were the mark of the beast. Learn. Your. Bible.

      • ShootyMcBang says

        The “mark” is your SS#. If you can say it, you’re marked on your head. If you can write it, you’re marked on your hand. Deny it all that you want to. But denying it isn’t going to un-mark you. Starving the “beast” is the only way. The Bible does mention that the devil is a sneaky SOB.

      • sojourner00 says

        Just look at his executive orders or have you been believing in him without checking on what he is really doing to this country.

      • Wolf Moon says

        LOL! I say Allende. Marxist sneaker. Tanks the economy. Drops border controls and allows foreign radicals in. Creates his own domestic paramilitaries. Weakens and boxes in the real military, in preparation for putting his own non-military minions in charge of it. Read “Chile: The Crime of Resistance” by Suzanne Labin. The only truly factual account of Chile, by a socialist anti-totalitarian. The left HATES it. It’s all the stuff that was contained in the last 3 paragraphs on page 2 in the NYT back in the day. You know – where they put the stuff that they know is true, but doesn’t fit into their alternate lefty reality. The stuff that technically counts as “balance” when people dig.

      • KingLettuce says

        You realize that other than being an ally of Israel, America has no major role in the end times, right?

      • Robert says

        Also it is said he would come from the middle east or Africa and until ANYONE sees his BC we will never know where he is from.

  2. Megan Duncan says

    Statistics show that homeschooling produces kids that colleges are happy to welcome. They have shown to be well rounded in their studies and very respectful and dedicated. I cannot imagine what the government’s argument is as to why they are trying to ban it, other than wishing to have more control.

      • Guest says

        For reference…
        No. 12-3641


        Agency Nos. 087-368-600, et seq.

    • don says

      its simple, they want to make sure the message they want is conveyed. they know its only a matter of time before society accepts what they’ve heard over and over. Look at seperation of church and state – often quoted and almost always out of context of what it was originally used. But people have heard it so ofetn now it has taken on a new meaning; that meaning is ingrained.

    • sam says

      Even better than statistics, I can site my own experience…our daughter who was homeschooled attended a highly ranked private liberal arts college ON SCHOLARSHIP. The college even used her application as a learning tool for other applicants seeking scholarships. She was accepted at several universities, by the way. None of the problems they say homeschoolers have getting into college!

      • Derpy says

        One personal example is not better than statistics…
        In fact, a personal example is only marginally better than saying “it works because duh.”

      • molly7 says

        You cannot comment on this issue without experiencing boths sides of an arguement, especially the side you are bashing. That is just an uninformed comment….stats say homeschooled kids are better kids all the way across the board….and yes, I’m very qualified to comment. :)

      • says

        I pulled my daughter out of Kindergarten because she was getting worse emotionally even though the grades were good and she had tons of friends. The School wanted to blame it on the home. They didn’t want to help. They will also send you to Academic Probation if you go over the sick days. How do you not when kids are sick and rebounding? Anyway a year later I found out she is mildly Dyslexic. They were not into finding out a solution just putting a label on it. Even a young child as this can be pushed to self harm, which she was doing. Now she is fine,progressing well and knows facts and figures her counterparts don’t. Many kids her age can barely write or speak correctly. My children know the Pledge of Allegiance. They ask questions and find ways to get the answer. They get to eat nutritious food and they get to play and run around outside. I accomplish in 2-3 hours what one teacher can’t get done in 6. Zero behavior problems. Youngest is smart as a whip. And we don’t get sick all the time. For me this is proof enough.

      • Amanda says

        The problem is the teachers are taught a certain way and expect children to fall in line with their perceptions. It doesn’t happen that way. Parents love their kids like no other, teachers tolerate them. I would recommend any parent to take back the natural role of teaching your own child from the government.

        People don’t realize that it is not just K-12, but that the Early Learning Program, HeadStart etc are programs designed to have government run families. They visit homes and they set up a “plan.” Early Learning requires a social worker to coordinate your child’s care under a false perception that it is all “parent run.” Once you sign your rights away they can go above your head.

      • Jossy says

        Sam i had a friend who homeschooled all 6 of her children, all of them are in college now just like your daughter in high rank. Congratulations.

      • Cheri says

        You shouldn’t be speaking…seeing that you don’t know how to capitalize your own sentences. Ha!

    • Conservadiva says

      The government wants “low information voters.” Dr. Ben Carson made the point in his National Prayer Breakfast speech that the reason education is denied to certain groups (historically black slaves) was in order to control and keep them subservient. Your comment about control is spot on, but it is a way to control those who may oppose your agenda, or have divergent views that would threaten your monopoly of power. Dr. Carson, who is not a politician with a political agenda, spoke wisdom to both parties, left wing & right wing, challenging them to respect each other and do what is best for the country, not what is best for their own parties’ political agenda. But for saying that, he has been persecuted by both parties. Dr. Carson was not homeschooled, but his mother required him to read 2 books a week, well beyond what he was required to read in school. Because he is widely read, he is not easily manipulated and is able to think critically about issues so that he can speak wisdom to both sides of the aisle. This threatens the back room deals that both parties are engaged in. Eric Holder is just a hired gun, who will protect the left agenda at all costs. Even if it means taking away the freedom to homeschool your child and put their brain under lock and key at the local, politically correct, public school.

      • says

        GREAT POINT!!!! I am reading Dr. Carson’s book now “America the Beautiful.” He is going to be on Hannity tonight. I can’t wait. Such an eloquent man with fresh ideas to solve problems.

      • says

        I will be getting his book-really looking forward to it! (Knee deep in “Killing Lincoln” and will follow that up with “Killing Kennedy”-but after these two…

    • GUY A LAICHE says

      American public schools have become indoctrination centers for sexual perversion(homosexuality),and anti-american ideaology

    • Jossy says

      Megan i can’t not be more than agree with you.
      is so disappointed how the United States Of America wants to take all our Rights away is like going back to be slaved.

      • Psy Cada says

        You’re already a slave. How much debt do you have to other nations courtesy of the federal govt. Collectively, 16+ trillion spread out over among 300+ million people. You do the math.

      • jaspertops says

        If the government owes it, then the taxpayers are stuck with it. So, yes, that 16 trillion is our debt. It belongs to every US citizen.

      • farmer says

        thats utter bullshit. there is no debt all money was issued not lent. and if it was a ‘debt’, that just a social circumstance not a force of nature. you are the reason everything will now die. everything is an image, something ‘happening’ outside of you, ‘over there’. i assure you i never think about nor will ever feel some random story about ‘debts’. because i dont internalize mass media and hype.

      • jaspertops says

        And by considering all money as issued and the 16 trillion as not being debt, by your way of thinking, we can eliminate the 16 trillion by just printing more money. This is a sure way to devalue the dollar and lead to hyperinflation. Or did the economics professors I had in college perpetuate a lie? If all we have to do is print more money, then why doesn’t the government just allow us to print money in our own homes? Or better yet, why does the government even collect taxes, if all they need to do is “issue” more money?

    • says

      They don’t just want to ban homeschooling. If homeschooling when along the same lines as regular public school they would have no problem with it, would be one less person to fund. What the gov. wants to do is band Free Thinking. Yes, they do not like people who THINK for themselves, solve problems on their own, ask questions, think outside the box, and generally aren’t robots. The dumber you are the easier you are to herd. Baaa!! Home Schooled kids are taught to follow the beat of a different drum. The parents of such children are the ones who teach freedom. Controlling governments do not like this at all.

  3. says

    I think the Ninth Amendment would apply here. It says that any right not covered in the Constitution is covered there. So the right for me to educate my child the way I see fit would be covered under the 9th.

  4. bobfairlane says

    LOL at telling jews to eat pork. They tell us to eat kosher! Almost all canned goods and many other things in US grocery stores have koshers taxes on them, passed on to consumers, jewish and not.

  5. bobfairlane says

    Eric Holder should get schooled. He doesn’t deserve to be in USA at all, much less in office. Home schooling should be the norm, and public schools should just exist to fill the gaps for when families are too small or too busy to home school, and for orphans and wards of the state.

    • says

      I’m sorry, Eric Holder should be rotting in prison for his part in Fast and Furious, contempt of congress, and obstruction of justice. Not telling parents how to raise children or interpreting the Constitution.

      • censored says

        So, who’s frightened by the truth and keeps deleting this info? 3rd reposting…


        Look it up on the 6th District Court website or HSLDAs website…basic research people!

      • truth says

        The truth will set your ignorance free…

        Apparently the truth scares the moderator of this page into removing this info…again…and again…

      • guest says


        Look it up on the 6th District Court website or HSLDAs website…basic research people!

  6. says

    There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Federal Government a monopoly on Education. In a matter of fact, they have no jurisdiction over education but that hasn’t stopped them…

  7. J says

    I believe the courts have ruled in the past that parents have a right to chose how their children are educated. However, this is the same administration that wants to give drug dealers in mexico assault weapons and ban the same for americans… not too mention they argue that it is ok to kill americans w/ little or no evidence. In other words – the Obama Admin arguing to take away Americans rights – no surprise.

  8. Kathryn Kay says

    Parents have the right to control the education of their children. Children do NOT belong to the government, and the government does not have the right to determine how the children are raised! I am thankful I live in Montana, where homeschooling is accomplished with the most minimal government interference.

  9. comengetme says

    Holder’s people are saying “that the Romeikes did not meet the standard of being part of a social group with “immutable” characteristics that can’t change and should not be required to change.”
    Isn’t sending a child away to a public school requiring the child to change when the ‘homeschooling” parent would prefer that the child be a well informed patriotic American that they have worked so hard to instill in them? How does the Gov. keep inflicting their agenda on us and we let them? We don’t need to be in a social group to have rights to be left alone an unmolested by these communist’s and their “Collective” group think. We are not communists by choice, it must be mandated, in other words forced on us. WE WILL NOT COMPLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Eagle One says

    It’s not equal protection at all. It’s equal denial of home schoolers rights. Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  11. Eagle One says

    I can picture this; it will be against the law for parents to teach their children anything. Even if the children attend a public school. Total control. No wiggle room for anything. Don’t even think about it.

  12. says

    If anything homeschooling should be encouraged by the governement. I have been both homeschooled and publicschooled, and there is a big difference between homeschoolers and publicschoolers. Homeschoolers are smart, respectfull, dedicicated, and learn a lot more. Honestly our public school system sucks. Its the reason why the US is having bad test scores. i learned in 2 years of homeschooling all that i have learned in all 6 years of public schooling.

    • DrScott says

      It is all about control of what you learn. If you actually learn to think you will mot blindly follow the government.

    • Jessica Anderson says

      The government doesn’t care about educating the children to read and write. It’s all about brainwashing the children. It is all about control.

  13. KingLettuce says

    An opinion by the DOJ is not legally binding nor does it bring us any closer to
    it being an issue in the US. There are numerous hurdles in place to prevent something
    like that happening- specifically the legislature that will not pass that law
    and if they do, SCOTUS will strike it down as unconstitutional.

    • says

      Yeah, just like they did with ObamaCare. The SCOTUS can’t be trusted to do the right thing constitutionaly anymore than the scum in Washington DC. Dan Balfour is right. There is NOTHING in the Constitution about the government, at any level, educating/schooling our children! Remember, the Founders were all highly educated men. They weren’t “schooled” but they were educated.

  14. Hollee says

    Parents were forced to send their kids to schools in Nazi Germany. Even after parents realized that they were teaching nothing but hate propaganda and teaching their kids to defy their parents.