This weekend at the Divorce Corp. Family Law Conference in Washington D.C. there were several moving speakers. I thought I’d highlight a couple of moments that stole the show and stood out from the rest of the activities, in my opinion. Let me just tell you first that I didn’t get to see all of the speakers on Sunday since I kept getting pulled out of the room by people who needed to leave and wanted to meet Ron or discuss something with one of us before they left. I’m sure that Thomas Fidler, Cole Stuart, Aaron Bates, Paull Reed, Steven Westerfield, Mike McCormick, Ned Holstein, David Delugas, Kenneth Paschal, Joan Teresa Kloth-Zanard, Glen Gibellina, Steven Burda, Ashley Poff, and many others were there who can probably fill you in on many of the other details from the speakers. And I would have added Michael Hiller but he was constantly being pulled from the room to help people with pressing issues as well.
Okay, so the first highlight of the conference happened on Saturday and involved our very own Ron B Palmer. There were two panel discussions Saturday morning and Ron was in the second one on Parental rights versus Children’s rights. These panel discussions were held in the main conference room that held all 250-300 participants of the conference. The panelists were seated on a stage to the right of the room at a long table seated next to each other and the moderator was just to the left of them standing at a podium. The moderator allowed each panelist to introduce themselves before she began asking them questions. Ron was in the parental rights versus children’s rights discussion. The moderator didn’t have many questions to ask Ron and Professor Dwyer many questions before she turned the questions over to the audience. However, shortly after doing so she took over again, stopped moderating and began arguing with Ron. As soon as she did this, the topic exploded. She argued to Ron B Palmer that there was no jurisprudence that said that two dueling parents have protected rights. Ron B. Palmer stole the show when he put a quick end to what he called a “smokescreen” attempt and a fallacy.
While the attorney/moderator wanted so desperately for Ron to buy into the age-old tactic and excuse that because the U.S. Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on two dueling parents yet that parents are required legally to continue to be subjected to a judge’s determination of what is best for a child and not the child’s fit parents. Ron’s response just about brought the audience to their feet in support when he summarily responded, “no, no, no” this was not correct and re-stated that parents absolutely have rights, the State does not grant these rights and must recognize and respect these rights.
Even the other professor chimed in when Ron made the 1st amendment argument, but just long enough to bend the argument to support his position that children have rights so shouldn’t they have a say in whether or not they want to see a parent. Ron quickly took the bend and smoothed out the misunderstanding that attorneys fall into every day, and clarified that children’s rights depend on their parents and that parents control these rights with a few exceptions. And these exceptions are clearly listed out by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ron additionally introduced these two attorneys to a paper that he wrote on the free association rights of families that where he lists 28 authorities cited from the federal courts that have declared that parents and children have 1st amendment rights to free association. In addition there are many cases that rule that fundamental rights require strict scrutiny and compelling state interest before interference is allowed. And once again he stated that the States do not grant these rights.
Shortly after the panel discussion had ended Joe stated in private that he was disappointed that the attorneys did not argue harder. I was not surprised that they didn’t however. Both attorneys, the moderator and the panelist, made it clear at the beginning of the discussion that they did not think about any of this from a constitutional perspective. In fact, just prior to the panel discussion, Ron skimmed a portion of Professor Dwyer’s book on Children’s Rights and put it down suddenly after alarmingly stating that he had just read that Dwyer believes that the children are the property of the State. These are attorneys that train attorneys. So now you know that if attorneys are being trained this way why it is so shocking to them when you want them to assert and protect your family rights.
Ron stated that this was a demonstration of the poor education that attorneys are receiving in law school these days. When they cannot figure out how to apply the fundamental family rights that the U.S. Supreme Court has clearly stated every fit parent that has established a relationship with their child has, then this could only mean that the education that they are receiving is lacking in a very important area…the Supreme law of the land…the law that protects families from unwarranted government intrusion.
The other highlights of the weekend were on Sunday. Cole Stuart enlightened the audience with an update on the RICO suit he filed in California. There were many people buzzing afterwards about this. Sorry Cole I missed your talk but heard lots about it. And thank you for mentioning Ron’s performance the day before.
Next Joe Sorge introduced Bill Belk to the audience, a very tall, broad-shouldered, towering, brave man who stood up and told the audience that he had run against his divorce court judge and won! The accomplishment didn’t stop there, he also overthrew the entire system when he overthrew the Chief Judge as well. Bill’s success definitely sent a resounding affirmation of hope through this crowd.
And lastly Ned Holstein gave a great uplifting talk about the successes and continued progress that will be made in these efforts.
And as always, Joe Sorge graciously closed the event with words that sent everyone home with not just an overall positive mood and attitude about continuing their efforts but also with a call to action to look into joining one of the committees that he has organized to keep the collaboration and solutions generating throughout the year. And when he asked if everyone would return next year, the room boomed with a resounding YES! Good work Divorce Corp. look forward to hearing about even more successes next year.
See you all next year!