The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered the Obama administration to respond to a petition by the Home School Legal Defense Association to hear an appeal in the Romeikes deportation case.
The Obama administration has sought to deport the Romeikes, a German family that fled from to the United States to protect their right to homeschool. If they had stayed in Germany, they risked fines or having their children taken from them, as recently happened with another homeschooling family in Germany.
An appeals court agreed with the administration, which argued that the freedom to determine the education of one's children is not a fundamental right. The administration also agreed with a German court's argument that banning homeschooling teaches tolerance of diverse views. HSLDA petitioned the Supreme Court to review that appeals court decision.
The fact that the Supreme Court wants the administration to weigh in on the petition increases the likelihood that it will hear the case, but it is no guarantee.
"We are pleased by the Court's interest in the issues we have presented in our petition," HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris wrote in an email to HSLDA supporters. "Romeike v. Holder gives the Court an opportunity to address important religious freedom and human rights issues. We hope that after due consideration of the government's brief they will agree to hear our case."
HSLDA hopes that publicity from the case will bring further attention to Germany's harsh treatment of homeshooling families.
"Germany's treatment of homeschoolers violates its international treaty obligations and human rights standards that establish the primary role of parents – versus governments – in selecting the kind of education their children should receive. German policy makers need to update their laws to respect these international human rights and protect basic freedom in education. HSLDA is working with German homeschooling advocates and others to achieve this goal," said Mike Donnelly, HSLDA's director for international affairs.