August 23, 2008
Texas Drops 150 FLDS Cases
Brooke Adams of the Salt Lake Tribune reports today that on Friday, August 22, Texas dropped 49 child abuse allegations involving children from the FLDS ranch. Texas now has asked for the dismissal of 150 cases, with 290 remaining pending. According to Adams, of the 440 children taken by the state from the Yearning for Zion ranch and later ordered returned by the state Supreme Court, one child has been returned to state custody. (last visited 08-23-08 MIF)
August 20, 2008
National Coalition for Child Protection Reform Releases "Due Process Agenda for Children and Families"
On August 11, 2008, The National Coalition for Child Protection Reform released "Civil Liberties Without Exception: NCCPR's Due Process Agenda for Children and Families". Setting forth sixteen recommendations, the report urges states to "enact . . . meaningful due process protections for families." NCCPR recommends elimination of the "secretive, insular" culture of child welfare in which most agency records and court hearings are shielded from the public. NCCPR's recommendations also include significant improvement in the screening of reports telephoned to child abuse and neglect hotlines and improved legal representation of parents in child welfare cases. (August 20, 2008 MIF)
August 19, 2008
Case Law Development: Access to Fertility Treatments by Lesbians
The California Supreme Court has unamiously ruled medical personnel’s claims to First Amendment rights (based on religion and speech) must yield to the state’s anti-discrimination law in the provision of medical services, including fertility treatments. As stated by the court in its August 18, 2008 opinion:
Do the rights of religious freedom and free speech, as guaranteed in both the federal and the California Constitutions, exempt a medical clinic’s physicians from complying with the California Unruh Civil Rights Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation? Our answer is no.
The case was based upon a doctor’s refusal to perform intrauterine insemination on the plaintiff, Guadalupe Benitez, because the doctor’s religious beliefs precluded her from performing the procedure on a lesbian, or perhaps on an unmarried woman.
North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group, Inc. v. Superior Court, (California Supreme Court, August 18, 2008)
Read the opinion online (last visited August 19, 2008 RR)