Attorney General Paxton joined two similar Virginia-led amicus briefs before the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina in defense of the religious liberties of foster care and adoption agencies who provide life-changing services to children and families across the country.
The amicus briefs were filed in defense of a religious foster care agency in South Carolina called Miracle Hill, which is a protestant organization that was sued over the role that its Christian views play in serving the community and carrying out its mission of helping children. As a faith-based organization, Miracle Hill has certain requirements for foster parents looking to partner with the organization, which are protected by law and the U.S. Constitution.
Agencies like Miracle Hill provide an invaluable service and act in accordance with the Constitution, as the brief in Eden Rogers v. United States Department of Health and Human Services states: “By partnering with, and providing funding for, faith-based [child placing agencies] to address the foster-care crisis, the government does not violate the Establishment Clause. Indeed, the Supreme Court has recently made clear that not only does the Establishment Clause permit accommodations of religious foster-care agencies, but that in many circumstances the Free Exercise Clause requires such accommodations.”
A ruling against Miracle Hill could also have negative consequences for faith-based agencies across the country, as the brief in Aimee Maddonna v. United States Department of Health and Human Services states: “The outcome of this litigation, and this Court’s answer to the question whether government agencies may contract with private entities to provide foster care services while permitting those private entities to operate consistently with their deeply held religious beliefs, could affect States’ work with both religious and nonreligious child-welfare providers.”
Attorney General Paxton previously filed a lawsuit to prevent the Biden Administration from enforcing a rule that would compel certain religious foster care and adoption services to violate their religious beliefs in order to receive federal funds.
To read the amicus brief in Eden Rogers, click here.
To read the amicus brief in Aimee Maddonna, click here.