Judges are a key element in the ongoing battle to defend the fundamental, God-given right of parents to raise their children as they see fit. That is the reason that THSC has been interviewing and endorsing candidates for judicial office in Texas for many years.
Recently, Supreme Court of Texas Justice John Devine (Republican) announced his reelection plans after another Republican candidate seeking Justice Devin’s seat told supporters that Devine was not seeking reelection.
This sort of shenanigans by a challenger does not convey trust. Especially when he is challenging one of the most pro-family, constitutionally minded justices on the court. I have known Justice Devine for well over a decade. He is a homeschool dad who has consistently upheld the right of parents to raise their children.
In fact, I quoted him when he joined an opinion by Justice Blacklock, another constitutionally minded justice on the court. In the opinion, the two justices chastised an appellate court for considering the old fashioned disciplinary methods of a parent as the partial basis for the destruction of the parent-child relationship.
Justice Devine said:
This natural parental right [is] a basic civil right of man and far more precious than property rights … The court of appeals’ opinion suggests that these punishments amounted to child abuse justifying the judicial destruction of a family. I disagree.
However far out of favor such traditional disciplinary measures may have fallen in some quarters, a parent’s choice to employ them should be afforded no weight in a termination proceeding.
Threatening to withhold presents as punishment is a ubiquitous part of popular Christmas culture. A little hot sauce for lies or bad words seems downright humane compared to the vigorous mouth-washing feared by generations of foul-mouthed children and administered by generations of loving mothers.
And how many parents at their wits’ end have made their kids run around the block or do pushups or jumping jacks? If reliance on these old-fashioned punishments – and others like them, such as spanking – can be used against parents by a government that seeks to take away their parental rights, then ‘the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody and control of their children’ is no longer what it once was.
In closing, he warned:
If some judges and juries around the state now believe that punishing children the way previous generations of American children were punished amounts to ‘sordid maltreatment’ justifying government intervention, the legislature may wish to make its views known.
The advisability or efficacy of these punishments is not the issue. The issue is whether Texas parents still have the liberty to employ them as they see fit without fearing a knock on the door from Child Protective Services. I believe they do.
Justice Devine wrote an opinion for the majority Supreme Court of Texas in a 2015 case that was widely seen as challenging homeschooling. He also joined the court in it’s unanimous decision upholding the constitutional rights of parents to raise their children in 2020.
Texas families owe much the current pro-family culture in Texas to constitutionally minded judges who uphold the rights of Texas parents. Justice Devine is one of those. I’m grateful to have judges on the Supreme Court of Texas who believe that the God-given, fundamental right of parents to raise their children as they see fit is a crucial part of our laws and our culture.
These are just a few of the many cases in which Justice Devine has shown himself to be a competent justice who interprets the law rather than seeking to “make law” from the bench.
That’s why THSC is fully supporting Justice John Devine for reelection this coming year. We hope you will join us!