Amicus Advocacy Project

Through the Amicus Advocacy Project, CHILD USA is submitting amicus briefs in important cases involving child protection.  CHILD USA CEO, Professor Marci Hamilton, has submitted dozens of amicus briefs related to child protection.  The Amicus Advocacy Project enables CHILD to continue its groundbreaking work on behalf of lawyers and child advocates everywhere.  In partnership with CHILD's Director of Amicus Advocacy, Dr. Leslie Griffin, the Amicus Advocacy Project helps ensure that CHILD USA’s commitment to children's rights and civil rights is heard in courts throughout the country. 

 Supreme Court of Texas Austin, TX

Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Amicus Curiae Letter Submitted in Cause Number 17-1005
In re John Doe, pending in the Supreme Court of Texas

May 23, 2018

At Issue: In a case before the Supreme Court of Texas involving the question of whether a private school with a religious sounding name and/or loose religious affiliation can rely on the religious freedom provision of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to avoid a civil court’s jurisdiction even though the school touts itself as secular, promises a secular education, does not teach or ascribe to a particular religion, and the conduct at issue in the case has nothing to do with religion.

Procedural History: In this case, the Court of Appeals in Dallas held that the First Amendment applies, allowing the school to avoid the lawsuit and responsibility for its conduct under the guise of religion.

Why We Care: This case can have a far-reaching impact, including the potential to enable schools and other organizations to avoid responsibility for bad conduct (e.g., child abuse) simply by claiming a loose religious affiliation.