According to the Third Court of Appeals in Austin, TX, “authorities had no right to seize more than 440 children in a raid on the splinter group’s compound last month. The Third Court of Appeals in Austin said the state failed to show the youngsters were in any immediate danger, the only grounds in Texas law for taking children from their parents without court action.”
This decision comes in the wake of a Texas raid on a polygamist sect called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (“Fundamentalist Mormons” or “FLDS” from here on out). The ruling by the appeals court could force the state Child Protective Services to return the children to their parents, though that could be forestalled if the state decides to press the decision to the level of the Texas Supreme Court.
Although most kids worry about things like the school dance and acne treatment, Texas Child Protective Services claimed sexual abuse charges, using them to justify taking away all the kids from the FLDS, even those who were among traditional two-parent families.
“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.”
Kinda brings Waco to mind, doesn’t it? Don’t expect Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) to be running for the White House any time soon, after this embarrassment.