Sunday, May 05, 2013

Baptist Children's Home Cannot Challenge Kentucky's Settlement of Establishment Clause Case

Pedreira v. Sunrise Children's Services, (WD KY, May 2, 2013) is the latest installment in the long-running Establishment Clause litigation challenging Kentucky's payments to a Baptist-operated child-care agency to provide residential treatment facilities for abused and neglected children. In March, the state agreed with plaintiffs to settle the case by placing new church-state safeguards in its contracts with child care agencies. (See prior posting.)   However, Sunrise Children's Services, the child-services agency whose practices were at issue, objected to the settlement arguing that the Settlement Agreement imposes obligations on it without giving it the opportunity to litigate the merits further. The court however rejected this argument, saying that new obligations are not imposed on Sunrise.  Instead any new obligations would be ones that Sunrise voluntarily assumes by entering a contract with the state on the new terms that the the state has agreed to include.

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