Attorney General Steve Marshall hails Supreme Court victory in religious freedom case supported by Alabama

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MONTGOMERY, Ala.—Attorney General Steve Marshall hailed a unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday, in a lawsuit supported by Alabama, upholding the right of Catholic Social Services to assist in Philadelphia’s foster care system without having to surrender the group’s religious beliefs.   

“Alabama and 12 other states filed an amicus brief in Fulton v. Philadelphia in support of Catholic Social Services after the City of Philadelphia excluded the faith-based child placement organization from the city’s foster care program because the group follows its religious beliefs,” said Attorney General Marshall. 

“Faith-based groups such as Catholic Social Services have long provided invaluable care for poor and abandoned children and, accordingly, are often partnered with government to fulfill this vital community service.  However, government does not have legal grounds to require foster care groups to set aside their religious beliefs in order to participate in the foster care system. Today, the Supreme Court said such actions by the City of Philadelphia violate the group’s First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. 

In conclusion, he added, “The Supreme Court decision is yet another victory by faith-based groups to protect their right to practice their religious beliefs.  Freedom of religion is increasingly under assault in our country and every legal battle to protect our First Amendment rights is critical.” 

U.S. Supreme Court Opinion can be read https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/19-123_g3bi.pdf

13-State Amicus Brief in support of Catholic Social Services can be read https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/19/19-123/144785/20200603141821660_19-123%20Amicus%20Brief.pdf