Sunday, June 01, 2008

Texas Finally Gets It Right

A bit of a while back I posted my shame that Texas has reached in and grabbed ahold of 400+ kids from their parents. I was ticked. And I have to say that I am glad that the Texas Supreme Court got involved.
SAN ANGELO, Texas -- The e-mail sent by a legal aid firm moments after a Texas Supreme Court ruling Thursday said it all - Supreme Court to CPS: Send these children home.
By a 6-3 majority, the justices agreed an appeals court was correct in deciding a district court judge erred in keeping about 450 children from a polygamous sect in state custody.
It said 51st District Judge Barbara Walther must vacate her April 18 order, made two weeks after a raid on the sect's west Texas ranch.
But key questions - when, how and under what conditions - still must be resolved, which could happen as soon as today. -- Source

But there are still a few sticking points that bother me. Please click to read more...

Even though an appeals court and eventually the state supreme court made the correct ruling, the agencies scared the hell out of me. I mean, a phone call from an unidentified caller triggered the raid. If one of my neighbors decides to make a call, who is coming to my door in the night? Fair Warning: I am trained, armed, and have the will to apply both.

And from an earlier edition of the same source (emphasis added):

Until women from a polygamous sect "unequivocally" identify their offspring, they have no standing to contest a judge's decision to remove the children from a west Texas ranch, state officials argue.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services contends in a court filing released today that FLDS mothers have engaged in a "conspiracy of silence" that forced the en masse custody hearings they now want to do over.
The document was filed in response to a petition filed with the Third Court of Appeals in Austin on behalf of 50 women from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The state filing lists 468 children as being in custody, something a spokesman said today was a typographical error. There are 464 children in custody.
The mothers' petition, filed by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), sought to reunite them with their children as they work to comply with any service plan devised by the state.
But Texas DFPS argues the pleadings do not identify which children belong to each mother, which the women have "repeatedly declined to do" and calls into question their right to dispute the state action

The State removed the kids for being in danger of abuse. Obviously every parent was a suspect. And yet the state argued that application of ones 5th Amendment right to remain silent ... or am I just a nutjob with an unwarranted fear of the .gov?

Even though the court ruled that the state was wrong, conditions were imposed to get the kids back. This is about halfway down the article and continues from there.

A draft agreement released by CPS attorney Gary Banks earlier Friday said the parents could get their children back beginning Monday after showing identification and pledging to take parenting classes and remain in Texas.-- Source

This whole mess still stinks. But, it's better than before. Like it or not, the state still must comply with the Supremes. Hopefully the ongoing investigation will properly observe the affected Texans rights while getting to the truth.

Even so, I'd keep a weapon in plain sight.... just in case.

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