The Cato Institute and Goldwater Institute filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Belinda Dupuy in Dupuy v. McEwen.
According to the Cato Institute:
For more than a decade, the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services has investigated parents based on anonymous tips of abuse or neglect, and deemed them indicated after a cursory investigation by state officials who have no effective check on their unilateral authority. Unlike actual child abuse cases, in which the State removes children from abusive situations with judicial approval, the State takes a different route with indicated parents threatening them with what it calls a Safety Plan. In so doing, the State demands that parents abandon their homes and families pending an investigation of unlimited duration. Frequently State officials will threaten to remove children immediately into foster care if the parents do not consent to the plans without counsel and without negotiation. According to the Seventh Circuit, parents are not allowed to challenge the plans in a judicial or administrative forum if they consent to the States demands, even if they do so only after being threatened with the loss of their children. Catos brief, which supports a class of parents petitioning the Supreme Court for review of these practices, argues that these Safety Plans violate the Due Process Clause because they infringe on fundamental family rights without affording any opportunity to challenge state action. They also vest unfettered discretion in state officials to infringe on parents fundamental rights. Finally, they represent an unconstitutional condition that forces parents to make an agonizing choice between abandoning their children in the hope that the States vague concerns would be mollified by subsequent investigation, or taking the risk that the State would make good on its threat to remove their children into foster care without a hearing.
Read the full amicus curiae brief here.