Amy Coney Barrett to hear Supreme Court case on Philadelphia canceling Catholic foster services
November 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Supreme Court with newly appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett is set to hear a case on Wednesday regarding Philadelphia’s Catholic Social Services and whether the city of Philadelphia has a right to block the organization’s status as a state-approved foster care provider because of the organization’s Catholic beliefs.
The city cut off CSS foster parents from having children placed in their homes in 2018 and refused to renew their contract with CSS due to the Catholic organization’s practice of not placing children in same-sex homes.
CSS sued the city of Philadelphia. A May 2018 Courthouse News Service article stated, “Joined by three of its foster parents, including lead plaintiff Sharonell Fulton, one of Catholic Social Services’ 16 legal claims is that the city breached its contract, under which the century-old nonprofit church agency is helping to care for 127 children today.” The Department of Human Services’ defense was that the Catholic Church’s policies are inconsistent with “certain core City principles, including our non-discrimination rules.”
The district courts and appellate courts both ruled in favor of Philadelphia, claiming that CSS was discriminating against homosexuals and therefore in violation of the nondiscrimination clause of its contract. CSS argues that the government has it backwards — that it is Philadelphia that is discriminating against CSS for being Catholic and violating the organization’s constitutional rights.
In fact, there were no same-sex couples who had brought the complaint against CSS. It was the city who canceled them without provocation.
The Church claims that “though no LGBT couple has filed a complaint against Catholic Social Services, and the agency would not stand in the way of any couple who wished to foster a child in need, the City has decided to penalize the agency because the City disagrees with its religious beliefs.”
The case has now made its way to the SCOTUS to be heard on the day after the elections.