Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a motion for summary judgment today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, urging the court to declare that an Obama-era rule violates the Constitution, the Administrative Procedure Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
AG Paxton Leads Multistate Coalition Urging Supreme Court to Allow Faith-Based Organizations to Continue Caring for Foster Children
Attorney General Ken Paxton led a multistate coalition in an amicus brief filed with the United States Supreme Court in support of faith-based child welfare organizations.
“We successfully demonstrated the absurdity of the lower court's ruling to the 5th Circuit. The ruling was arrived at by an unelected federal judge who misapplied the law, hijacked control of our state's foster care system, and ordered an ill-conceived plan by the special masters that is both incomplete and impractical,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The directives from the lower court would reverse the progress Texas has made since the Legislature made reforms to the foster care system last year. Responsibility for determining policy priorities and implementing best practices lies with the legislative and executive branches of government. I'm optimistic that the 5th Circuit will recognize that and correct the lower court's error.”
“The directives laid out by the District Court are misguided and dangerous, and would reverse the progress Texas has made since the Legislature enacted changes to the system last year,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Addressing concerns regarding the foster care system should be done by the people's representatives, not an unelected federal judge and the court's appointed masters who imposed their own unrealistic vision.”
“We appreciated the opportunity to demonstrate that this case raises serious federalism concerns when an unelected federal judge sought to substitute her own individual judgment for that of the people of Texas' duly elected representatives, executive officers, and judges,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The district court's misguided directives will irreparably harm the foster care system, uproot many children, and reverse the progress that Texas has made since the Legislature enacted landmark changes to the system last year.”
“Texas has a solemn responsibility to care for children removed from their homes due to neglect and abuse of all kinds, and last year the Legislature approved landmark changes in the foster care system. When unelected judges improperly assume control of state institutions, Texas officials cannot make the policy they've been entrusted to make,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The judge and special masters acted outside of their legal authority and ordered a plan that is both incomplete and impractical. We are asking the Fifth Circuit to correct this error.”
“The Legislature approved and Governor Abbott signed landmark legislation last year to fund improvements in Texas' foster care system. Unfunded and unrealistic mandates ordered by an unelected federal judge are misguided. We will immediately appeal this unfortunate decision.”