The decision in one of the biggest child-custody cases in U.S. history was a humiliating defeat for the state Child Protective Services agency. It was hailed as vindication by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who claimed they were being persecuted for their religious beliefs.Protection from the government, especially for unpopular beliefs or practices- no matter how repugnant to the majority, is supposed to be one of the bedrocks of our country. Basing a raid of the type made in this matter and taking children away from their parents on the basis of a single anonymous phone call is appalling.
But the appeals court said the state acted too hastily in sweeping up all the children and taking them away on an emergency basis without going to court first.
"Even if one views the FLDS belief system as creating a danger of sexual abuse by grooming boys to be perpetrators of sexual abuse and raising girls to be victims of sexual abuse ... there is no evidence that this danger is 'immediate' or 'urgent'," the court said.
"Evidence that children raised in this particular environment may someday have their physical health and safety threatened is not evidence that the danger is imminent enough to warrant invoking the extreme measure of immediate removal."
Friday, May 23, 2008
Not much of a surprise, really: Texas Court of Appeals finds Texas authorities overstepped in polygamy sect matter
Reported as Texas seizure of polygamist-sect kids thrown out: