Civil Liberties

Texas Supreme Court Rejects Seizure of FLDS Children


The Texas Supreme Court has unanimously upheld last week's appeals court ruling rejecting the state's wholesale removal of children from  the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado. "On the record before us, removal of the children was not warranted," the justices said, agreeing with the lower court that Child Protective Services could not justify taking custody of more than 450 children by citing their parents' religious beliefs, which the state claimed encouraged underage marriage.

The text of the Texas Supreme Court decision is available here. Here is my first column on the case. Here is this week's follow-up column about the appeals court ruling.

Addendum: Although the justices agreed that taking all the children was not justified, three said the state would have been justified in removing just the girls who had reached puberty and who might therefore be in danger of sexual abuse. These girls were a small minority of the 468 children seized by the state, many of whom were boys and half of whom were 5 or younger.

[Thanks to Derek Levisay for the tip.]