Supreme Court Sits on German Homeschool Asylum Case
PURCELLVILLE, Va., Feb. 24, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — In an unexpected turn, the United States Supreme Court has apparently decided to continue thinking about Home School Legal Defense Association’s German homeschool asylum case, Romeike v. Holder. The case had been scheduled for review by the Court on Friday, February 21, 2014, and HSLDA expected to see the case on the Court’s order list today either granting or denying cert. However when the list was released at around 10:00 a.m. on Monday, February 24, 2014, Romeike was missing.
Michael Farris, HSLDA chairman and principal attorney for the family, was guarded but positive in his reaction to the Court’s action.
“It’s not no,” he said. “And it’s not abnormal for the Court to hold over discussion of some cases from time to time. Sometimes they hold cases based on upcoming decisions. Or they may want more time to discuss the case. It’s impossible to know precisely what the Court is doing, but we remain hopeful.”
In 2010, Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman granted the Romeikes asylum, ruling that the United States should “be a place of refuge” for the family. But the Obama administration revoked that asylum in 2012. HSLDA appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the administration’s position.
HSLDA has been representing the family since they began their legal quest for asylum in 2008. When Uwe and Hannelore left Germany with their children, they were fleeing persecution in the form of crushing fines, loss of custody of their children, and criminal prosecution for homeschooling.
The importance of the Romeike case is underscored by experience of another German family—the Wunderlichs. A family court judge in Darmstadt, Germany, has refused to return legal custody to the parents of the four children who are now attending public school by court order. The judge in that case cited German Supreme Court cases that have said that homeschooling endangers the welfare of children.
HSLDA’s director of international relations said that this is what the Romeikes would face if the U.S. Supreme Court declines their case and they are sent back.
“Germany persecutes homeschooling families under the color of law. German courts refuse to intervene,” Mike Donnelly said. “Even the European Court of Human Rights has declined relief. This is an important human rights issue where the United States Supreme Court’s voice is needed to uphold the fundamental notion that parents have a fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children.”
Hopeful that the Supreme Court will elect to hear the appeal, Farris affirmed HSLDA’s commitment to this family. “The Romeikes are modern day pilgrims,” he said. “We are determined to fight for their freedom until our last breath. There is no way I will stand by and see this family deported to Germany to be mistreated.”