Harry Blackmun: Dissent in DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services

(1989)

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In the 1989 case of DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the case of Joshua DeShaney, whose father had been granted custody of him in a Wyoming divorce case. After the divorce, father and son had moved to Wisconsin, where over the course of several years incidents of child abuse were reported and followed up by police, social services caseworkers, and hospital personnel. Each time, the courts returned the child to his father, until...