Supreme Court To Decide Landmark Case


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(Worthy News) – When child custody cases come before family courts, judges endeavor to base their rulings on the best interests of the child. Overall, the court is less interested in which parent might have the most right to the children than in how best to help the children thrive. The might now be walking a very similar line. It is on the verge of deciding a landmark case that could have a profound impact on the more than 400,000 vulnerable children who find themselves in the U.S. foster care system. Its ruling could also have major implications for LGBTQ rights, and nondiscrimination laws across America.

The case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, was sparked when the city said it would no longer contract with a -based agency, Catholic Social Services (CSS), to provide foster services after a 2018 Philadelphia Inquirer article revealed that it would not certify same-sex couples to be foster parents. (CSS also does not certify unmarried couples.) In response, two foster mothers—Sharonell Fulton and Toni Simms-Busch—and the CSS sued the city, arguing that severing the contract violated their . After losing in two lower courts, they petitioned the Supreme Court, which first agreed to hear the case in February 2020.

The landmark 1990 court ruling on Employment Division v. Smith—written by Justice Antonin Scalia—said Americans cannot have exemptions to laws on religious grounds as long as those laws are neutral and generally applicable to everybody. Anti-discrimination laws have long been thought of as meeting that standard, says NeJamie. But the Fulton plaintiffs are arguing that the city’s anti-discrimination law is neither neutral nor equally applicable, and are asking the court to re-examine Smith. Such a reconsideration would send shockwaves through the religious and civil rights communities. [ Source: Time (Read More…) ]

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