Sun ignores facts in DHR suit

Your editorial of August 5 on the Massinga foster care decision fails to make clear the reasons why Attorney General Douglas Gansler and Judge J. Frederick Motz properly felt that a further hearing was required (“A breach of trust,” Aug. 6).

The recent decision of the Supreme Court disrupts cozy arrangements between advocacy groups and agency lawyers by which “public officials sometimes consent to or vigorously refrain from opposing decrees that go well beyond what is required by federal law. … Injunctions of this sort bind state and local officials to the policy preferences of their predecessors and may thereby improperly deprive future officials of their designated legislative and executive powers. … Overbroad or outdated consent decrees limit the ability to respond to the priorities and concerns of constituents.”

By making decrees modifiable, the decision insures greater transparency and hopefully will bring an end to some of the Maryland housing and education cases that go on for decades and have long since lost their moorings in law.

George W. Liebmann, Baltimore

The writer was counsel to the Maryland Department of Social Services, 1967-1969.

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