9. What Is a Resolution? And What Are the Different Kinds Used in the Parental Rights Movement?

Basically, a resolution is a means by which the legislature can express its view or opinion of something in a way that does not in and of itself make law. Unlike a bill, which becomes law with passage, a resolution does not create law. In addition, a resolution generally does not require the signature of the Executive (the governor or President).

There are a number of resolution names you will hear in the parental rights movement, but these are all one of two kinds:

1. A State Resolution

A state resolution is a means for your state legislature to express its support for the Parental Rights Amendment. In most instances, this will involve a Joint Resolution or a Concurring resolution – resolutions in which both houses of your legislature agree. Some states also call these “memorials,” because they are designed to “call something to mind” for the U.S. Congress.

The Parental Rights Amendment Resolution adopted in Florida was House Memorial 557 and Senate Memorial 954. Idaho passed House Joint Memorial 1 and Montana adopted Senate Joint Resolution 9. The names differ, but the purpose is the same. In each case, the state legislature calls on the U.S. Congress to propose the Parental Rights Amendment so that the States can ratify it.

2. A Joint Resolution in the U.S. Congress

The Amendment itself will be proposed by the Congress to the States in the form of a joint resolution – one in which the House and Senate work together (“jointly”). A House Joint Resolution proposing the Amendment will be coupled with a Senate Joint Resolution proposing the same thing. If both agree and are passed, they are treated as one resolution proposing the Amendment to the States. If there are differences, the two versions are reconciled in a joint committee, the final version is adopted by both houses, and this joint resolution is proposed to the States for ratification. In the 111th Congress (2009-2010), the Amendment was presented as House Joint Resolution 42 and Senate Joint Resolution 16. In the 112th Congress, they were HJRes. 110 and SJRes. 42. In the 113th Congress, the Amendment is HJRes. 50 in the U.S. House, introduced in June of 2013.

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