Do parents have the right to prevent their child from having an abortion or going through gender-reassignment surgery? The former Chief Justice and one current Justice of the Texas Supreme Court don’t think so.
The State of Texas is known as a conservative stronghold; however, as we fall behind in the fight to protect the unborn and fail to join 15 other states who have passed constitutional carry, it’s clear that conservatives do not run the show in the Lone Star State.
Instead, Texas is really run by RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) and Democrats who work together to undermine conservative goals.
In fact, two such RINOs have successfully infiltrated the Texas Supreme Court: former Texas Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson and current Justice Debra Lehrmann. The pair have put their names on a Restatement of the Law by the American Law Institute that aims to further the far left’s assault on parental rights.
The American Law Institute, ALI for short, is an organization most well-known for publishing “Restatements of the Law” that aim to simplify what the law says on various subjects. ALI, and their restatements, were once very reliable and respected. In fact, their membership is vast, with every U.S. Supreme Court Justice (except Justice Kavanaugh), six Texas Supreme Court Justices (including Lehrmann), and Texas State Sen. Kirk Watson (D–Austin) being members.
However, with ALI beginning to show its true colors with the direct actions of Jefferson and Lehrmann, conservative lawyers may want to reconsider their membership. In recent years, ALI has begun to move away from simply restating the law to describing what they think the law should be—and that vision of the law is a radical one.
The late Justice Antonin Scalia, once a frequent citer of ALI restatements, declared in Kansas v. Nebraska that
“over time, the Restatements’ authors have abandoned the mission of describing the law and have chosen instead to set forth their aspirations for what the law ought to be.”
Despite the condemnation, ALI has moved forward with trying to push a radical agenda. In the most recent draft of their most recent restatement, led by ALI Treasurer Wallace Jefferson and with the advice of Justice Lehrmann, ALI declared:
“A parent does not have authority to consent to medical procedures or treatments that impinge on the child’s constitutional rights to bodily integrity or reproductive privacy.”
This means Jefferson and Lehrmann, among others, believe and promote the radical idea that parents have no right to prevent their child from having an abortion or undergoing gender-reassignment surgery, amongst other medical procedures. That is a radically extreme position that is not supported by court decisions.
A transcript of ALI’s 2018 proceedings obtained by Texas Scorecard shows Wallace Jefferson lauding the work of Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the leftist Equal Justice Initiative. Jefferson praised Stevenson’s comments at the meeting, saying that Stevenson “said a few things that I think are very prescient for the work that we are about to undertake and discuss this afternoon.” At the meeting, Jefferson was hard at work pushing the radical anti-parent agenda in ALI’s latest restatement.
In fact, Jefferson was called out in the meeting by a conservative Texas judge, Justice Michael Massengale. He pointed out there is no legal basis for what the restatement is propagating, stating that even the restatement itself admitted “there are no published opinions addressing parental authority to consent.” Massengale went on to point out that the only reference in the restatement for the controversial subject was a single article from Buzzfeed News.
After a professor brushed off the concerns by claiming they will work to make the lack of court precedent “clearer in the comment itself,” Massengale pointed to the lack of precedent as raising questions about “whether that is an accurate statement of the law.”
Jefferson brushed Massengale’s concerns aside by thanking him and asking for “any other comments or questions.”
This lack of concern for the law in favor of promoting a radical agenda coming from Republican judges should raise alarm about the current state of the Texas judiciary. More specifically, Texans should be asking what other initiatives Lehrmann and Jefferson are part of that have these same motives.
The transcript of the meeting can be found here, and the draft of the restatement can be found here.