Thursday, November 14, 2019

Challenge To Religious Anti-Discrimination Waiver Dismissed For Lack of Standing

In Maddonna v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (D SC, Nov. 13, 2019), a South Carolina federal district court dismissed for lack of standing a challenge to action by the federal government and the state that, through a waiver of anti-discrimination requirements, allowed a religiously affiliated foster care agency to place children only with evangelical Christians. The court said in part:
Plaintiff could only conceivably attempt to assert taxpayer standing as to her claims regarding the Establishment Clause. Even then, Plaintiff has not set forth any challenge to any legislative action, but has, rather, challenged discretionary executive actions and appropriations....
 Assuming without deciding that Plaintiff’s other alleged injuries - i.e. that she was denied the opportunity to volunteer and/or become a foster parent through Miracle Hill and was discriminated against in the process - has been sufficiently alleged ..., the court finds that Plaintiff has failed to establish that such injury was fairly traceable to any Defendant....  [A]t the time Plaintiff was denied the ability to volunteer with or foster through Miracle Hill in 2014, the actions of which she complains had not taken place, and, therefore, cannot conceivably have caused or even contributed to Plaintiff’s alleged harm.
The State reports on the decision.