Monday, February 1, 2016
Georgia and Feds Battle it Out
With lawmakers talking about protecting Confederate symbols and extolling the supposedly good points of the Ku Klux Klan, it can be easy to forget that the Civil War ended 151 years ago. After all, Georgia still keeps cannons on its Capitol steps – pointed North, as if our leaders expect renewed Union aggression.
As it happens, Georgia is engaged in two serious conflicts with the federal government. In both, state officials, led by Gov. Nathan Deal, are resisting intervention by the U.S. Department of Justice in how Georgia serves some of its most vulnerable citizens.The first concerns the care of people with developmental disabilities. As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported over the weekend, the Justice Department says Georgia is not living up to promises it made in 2010 to settle a federal investigation into the state’s psychiatric hospitals. Part of the settlement required the state to transfer people with physical disabilities from the state hospitals – where, in most cases, they never belonged – to group homes and other community-based facilities. (To see the original Journal-Constitution stories that precipitated the federal investigation, go here.)