Judge Phipps said, the Lasches’ allegations that their civil rights were violated because of the state government’s religious hostility and retaliation based on their biblical views should not have been dismissed by the lower court. In explaining his reasoning, Judge Phipps cited two recent Supreme Court cases supportive of religious freedom.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court decision dismissing a New Jersey couple’s lawsuit against the state after it removed their foster child and suspended their license to foster parent. The decision relies on recent U.S. Supreme Court cases favoring religious freedom and paves the way for Christians in the Garden State to push back against government hostility toward biblical values.
Licensed foster parents Michael and Jennifer Lasche could only watch helplessly in 2018 as their foster daughter – whom they wanted to adopt – was removed from their home by government officials. Employees of the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) decided the Lasches’ religious beliefs about the sinfulness of homosexual conduct and same-sex “marriage” justified the child’s removal.
But then the state went even further in making its point by suspending the Lasches’ license to foster any child. When the couple sued the state for violating their constitutional rights, a federal district court dismissed the lawsuit.
However, the 3rd Circuit reinstated the lawsuit and sent it back down to the lower court for further proceedings.
“The District Court dismissed the Lasches’ [constitutional rights violation] claim against the individual capacity defendants for First Amendment retaliation on two grounds,” Judge Peter Phipps wrote on behalf of a three-judge panel.