SAN ANGELO, Texas — A state appellate court has ruled that child
welfare officials had no right to seize more than 400 children living at
a polygamist sect’s ranch.
The Third Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the grounds for
removing the children were “legally and factually insufficient” under
Texas law. They did not immediately order the return of the children.
Much more of the decision at Volokh, including
The Department did not present any evidence of danger to the physical health or safety of any male children or any female children who had not reached puberty. Nor did the Department offer any evidence that any of Relators' pubescent female children were in physical danger other than that those children live at the ranch among a group of people who have a "pervasive system of belief” that condones polygamous marriage and underage females having children. [Footnote: The Department's witnesses conceded that there are differences of opinion among the FLDS community as to what is an appropriate age to marry, how many spouses to have, and when to start having children—much as there are differences of opinion regarding the details of religious doctrine among other religious groups.]
And a commenter points to this:
Half the mothers from a polygamist sect that Texas child welfare authorities put in foster care as children have now been declared adults.
Attorneys for Child Protective Services say 15 of the 31 mothers are adults. One is actually 27.
Another girl listed as an underage mother is 14, but the state has conceded she is not pregnant and does not have a child.
Gee, maybe somebody will also get to asking the local authorities
A: Why did they roll out an armored vehicle to raid the place, and
B: What the HELL are they doing with one, anyway?