Saturday, November 23, 2019

Challenge To Chaplaincy Program Dropped After Changes Are Made

A Stipulation for Dismissal signed by both parties was filed earlier this week in  Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Kaul, (WD WI, 11/20/2019). The suit, which was initially filed in state court and was apparently removed to federal court, challenged the constitutionality of a Chaplaincy Program for employees and their families created by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Six chaplains from across the state were appointed initially-- all white males from Christian faiths. The program excluded secular mental health professionals.  According to a press release from FFRF, after a new state attorney general was elected, the chaplaincy program was dropped in favor of an "Employee Support Team". The goal is to create teams with training in counseling, police chaplaincy, and/or empathetic listening.