Supreme Court orders White House to respond to Romeike petition

The Obama administration must respond to the petition for the German homeschool family that was denied asylum in the US. Photo: AP

JACKSONVILLE, November 27, 2013 — The Supreme Court has ordered the White House to respond to an asylum petition that appeared on Whitehouse.gov on behalf of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike.

The Romeike family fled Germany in 2008 when they were fined and threatened with jail-time for homeschooling their children. They were denied asylum in 2012, and a lower court ruled against them when they appealed. They have appealed to the Supreme Court, which has not decided to hear their case. However, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which represents the family, has announced that the Supreme Court has ordered the Obama administration to issue an official response to the WhiteHouse.gov petition asking for “full and permanent legal status” for the Romeikes. 


SEE RELATED: Obama - Holder deny asylum for German homeschool family


The petition on WhiteHouse.gov’s We The People site was created in March. It quickly garnered the 100,000 signatures necessary to get an official response from the Obama administration. When the much-anticipated response was finally provided, it was a non-response. The White House said they could not comment on the case because it was pending before courts. Now the Supreme Court has removed that objection and ordered that the Obama administration provide a more comprehensive response.

In 2006, the Romeikes withdrew their children from the public school system in their native Germany after becoming concerned that the educational material employed by the school was undermining the tenets of their Christian faith. They doubted that the school was providing their children with an ideal learning environment. “I don’t expect the school to teach about the Bible,” Mr. Romeike said, but “part of education should be character-building.” 

Unfortunately for the Romeikes and hundreds of other Christian parents in Germany, homeschooling has been illegal in that nation since it was outlawed by Adolf Hitler in 1938. The German Supreme Court has stated that the purpose of the homeschooling ban is to, “counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.”

After accruing the equivalent of $10,000 in fines, facing police visits to their home and enduring the forcible removal of their children from the home, the Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 to seek asylum in the land of the free and the home of the brave. In 2010 they became the first family ever granted asylum in the U.S. for the protection of their homeschooling rights.


SEE RELATED: Deportation of German homeschool family affects US homeschool freedom


Their newfound freedom ended abruptly in 2012, when the Board of Immigration Appeals tossed the ruling granting the family asylum and Attorney General Eric Holder’s office sought to send the Romeikes back to Germany. The Attorney General contended that they had not been persecuted for their religious beliefs, since not all Christians believe that homeschooling is mandated by their faith.

“The United States Supreme Court has made it very clear in the past that religious freedom is an individual right,” says Michael Farris of the HSLDA. “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.”

Following this unexpected and devastating verdict, Farris said with indignation, “You can’t look at the lenient attitude to 11 million people who came here for economic opportunity, why we would not treat people who come here for economic freedom on par with people who came here for religious freedom I don’t understand.”

Following the Supreme Court’s order to the White House, James Mason of the HSLDA told Charisma News that, “while the odds of the court taking any case are very low, this has increased the chances — but it is impossible to predict whether the court will ultimately accept the case.”

To learn more about the Romeike family, watch the following short video.


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Bryana Johnson

Passionate about liberty, and the theory of government, Bryana serves as the vice president of a local political club and reports on political happenings around the globe.
 
In addition to her political activities, Bryana has won prizes in multiple poetry contests and her first poetry collection, Having Decided To Stay, was released in 2012. She writes regularly about the good life, literature and the world’s great Lover over at www.bryanajohnson.com. You can follow her on twitter at @_Bryana_Johnson and on facebook. 

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