The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a case involving a growing number of Kentucky relatives providing free foster care for children.
The result is that Kentucky must begin paying those relatives the same as they do licensed foster families, news outlets report.
The nation's high court on Tuesday refused to hear an appeal from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The cabinet was seeking to overturn a ruling earlier this year by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that said the state must pay relatives who take in foster children.
The case revolved around a lawsuit filed by Lexington lawyer Richard Dawahare on behalf of a great-aunt who took in two young boys but was denied foster payments from the state.
"We have won, our clients have won and it's a big deal," Dawahare said. "Right now, the relatives are entitled and they need to make their claim."
A cabinet spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The news will be celebrated by many relatives across Kentucky caring for children but not eligible for daily payments even as licensed foster parents are paid a base rate of about $25 a day or $750 a month.
Among them is Kimberly Guffy of Russellville, Kentucky, who said she and her husband have been caring for two small grandchildren for more than three years with no foster care help from the cabinet.
"The days of the cabinet's reliance on relatives to balance its budget are over," she told The Courier-Journal.
Guffy said she didn't hesitate to take in the children, one a newborn and the other a 16-month-old, but it has been a struggle, especially for the first year when child care costs reached $10,000.
The cabinet has since agreed to assist with child care costs but refused foster payments. Social workers at one point told her that if the family couldn't afford to care for the children, they would be placed in a foster home.
President Donald Trump has tapped one of his own White House attorneys for a judgeship on one of the most important federal appeals courts, opening the door for confirmation hearing questions about the legal controversies that dominated the first seven months of Trump's presidency.
Gregory Katsas was nominated Thursday to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Katsas, the deputy White House counsel, was a former Justice Department official under President George W. Bush. A biography on the White House's website says he has argued more than 75 appeals, including the constitutional challenge to President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court.
He would replace the libertarian-leaning Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who retired this summer. The court is influential, in part because of its role in adjudicating many of the orders and laws put forth by the administration. It is sometimes called America's second highest court because it can be a stepping stone to the Supreme Court just a few blocks away.
Katsas, once a law clerk to Justice Thomas, has served in high-ranking Justice Department roles, including as head of the civil division that has responsibility for defending the administration's policies against court challenges. He is part of the steady stream of Jones Day law firm partners who have flowed into the Trump administration, including White House counsel Don McGahn.
So many Jones Day attorneys work in the White House that the counsel's office issued a blanket ethics waiver for them so that they can maintain contact with their former colleagues without running afoul of ethics provisions. The firm's lawyers continue to represent members of the Trump campaign outside the White House.
Central Idaho attorney Ned Williamson has been named the new judge in Idaho's 5th District Court.
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter selected Williamson, a Hailey resident, to replace recently retired Judge Robert Elgee in Blaine County.
The Times-News newspaper reports Williamson served as a deputy prosecutor in both Canyon and Blaine counties before opening his private law practice in 2001. Williamson was one of four candidates submitted to Otter for the judgeship.
Otter said Williamson's local experience will serve him well on the bench. Williamson said he's honored by the selection and will dedicate himself to being a fair and impartial judge.
A bankruptcy court document says two Ohio-based grocery chains have agreed to buy 26 of Marsh Supermarkets' 44 remaining stores for a total of $24 million.
The court filing posted Tuesday says Fishers-based Marsh is seeking court approval to sell 11 stores to Kroger Co. subsidiary Topvalco Inc. for $16 million and 15 stores to Findlay, Ohio-based Fresh Encounter parent Generative Growth LLC for about $8 million.
Topvalco agreed to buy three stores in Bloomington; two each in Indianapolis, Muncie and Zionsville, and single stores in Fishers and Greenwood.
Generative Growth agreed to buy two Indianapolis stores; other Indiana stores in Columbus, Elwood, Greensburg, Hartford City, Marion, New Palestine, Pendleton, Richmond and Tipton; and Ohio stores in Eaton, Middletown, Troy, and Van Wert.