The contest begins, in which the state of Texas attempts to topple King George’s longstanding record of governmental abuses by stripping all 468 children from their parents in an unpopular community.
1. Legal action should be directed at individuals, based on evidence of specific actions committed by those individuals, rather than being directed against a community.
2. The government actions against the FLDS appear to violate the first amendment guarantee of freedom of religion.
3. The government actions appear to violate the fourth amendment “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
4. The government actions appear to violate the fourth amendment requirement that search warrants be based “upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
5. A CPS spokesman said it doesn’t matter if the calls that provided the excuse for the raid were genuine.
6. The government actions appear to turn the fifth amendment guarantee that citizens shall not be “deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law” into an empty promise.
7. We can only hope that the government actions against the FLDS violate the fourteenth amendment guarantee of “equal protection.”
8. Apparently, one of the key reasons for taking all the FLDS children into custody was that the FLDS encourage early sex. Even if that is true, it is at least somewhat hypocritical to pretend that the same does not happen in the mainstream culture.
9. The government actions ignore the benefit of historic precedent.
10. The Texas approach to civil liberties demonstrates that colonial Rhode Island benefited from a more enlightened approach to civil liberties 350 years ago than Texas does today.
11. With the FLDS children having been in state custody for over one month, state officials still have not enabled a comprehensive program of parental visits.
12. The fact that several state laws were created specifically to place the FLDS religion in the crosshairs of Texas family law appears to fit with the other indicators that point toward a religious motivation for the government actions.
13. There was a deplorable lack of due diligence taken by government officials before initiating the raid.
14. Weighing allegations of sexual abuse by the FLDS community against known problems with the Texas foster care system, it is not clear that removing all the children from their homes and placing them in state protective custody was the lowest risk option for these children.
15. Outside of the other traumas the FLDS children will face in foster care, a large number of the FLDS children are statistically likely to be placed on psychotropic drugs while in foster care.
16. Court testimony indicating that Child Protective Services relied on information from a former FLDS member and from a psychiatrist familiar with the Branch Davidians appears to indicate that CPS knew the conclusions they wanted to reach before moving against the FLDS community.
17. Mental health professionals who helped at the shelters in San Angelo where the FLDS children were initially detained have complained about the way the FLDS were treated.
18. At least twenty-six of the “children” CPS took into custody are actually adults.
19. The Bishop’s List, a set of church records that was used in the initial court hearings, has now been released, and it is most shocking for its lack of corroboration of government claims.
20. In the continuation of what appears to be a government trend to air unsubstantiated allegations, DFPS reported as a “cause for concern” that at least 41 of the children had at some point suffered from broken bones.
21. The children seem to be suffering significant health issues since entering state care. As of 28 April, nine of the children had been hospitalized.
22. Comments made by a CPS spokeswoman the day after the FLDS children aged five and over were separated from their mothers grossly oversimplifies the grieving and recovery process in the wake of the children being separated from their parents.
23. CPS appears to be having a hard time keeping track of all the children. An 11 year-old boy and a 16 month-old boy were reported missing as of 27 April, but “child welfare workers in Texas say they’re not worried.”
24. The Utah Attorney General, who has experience dealing with polygamist groups, has questioned the approach of Texas authorities.
25. The massive state actions will be expensive to taxpayers.
26. The Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, found that evidence to support the CPS claim that the FLDS community constituted a single household “was not legally or factually sufficient.”
27. After announcing publicly that Dale Barlow was wanted for the rape and physical assault of “Sarah,” Texas officials later dropped charges against him, without even having the decency to state why the charges had been dropped.
28. Although the district judge who presided over the initial custody hearing permitted nursing mothers tostay with children who are twelve months old or younger, she did not grant that same privilege to mothers nursing infants older than twelve months.
29. The first search warrant against the FLDS and its associated affidavit appear to be constitutionally weak.
30. The fact that Texas officials performed interviews while executing the initial search warrant that had no relationship whatsoever to the initial search warrant leads to significant questions about the manner in which that warrant was executed.
31. A CPS supervisor’s testimony about her experience while interviewing girls in the FLDS community on 3 April demonstrates an irony too strong to not find disappointing.
32. A three-year old FLDS boy has been “crying himself to sleep every night, according to the attorney representing him.”
33. The youngest girl who CPS claims is an underage mother is, indeed, underage but is neither a mother nor even pregnant according to the lawyer representing her.
34. The Texas Supreme Court minority opinion appears to complain about use of the Fifth Amendment.
35. According to the Supreme Court’s majority opinion, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services “took possession of all 468 children at the Ranch without a court order.”
36. Even though the appeals court explicitly rejected the CPS interpretation that the YFZ Ranch constitutes a single household, Judge Walther persisted in treating the FLDS in a manner that remained, essentially, a one-household approach.
37. FLDS children and parents had two restrooms to share per 141 people in the early days after the raid.
38. CPS turned Warren Jeffs into the new villain who must not be named – or quoted – and whose signature must not be seen.
39. Texas Governor Rick Perry says he is more concerned about the welfare of children than observing “fine legal lines.”
40. In addition to the separation of mothers and children being unnecessary, the manner in which the FLDS children were separated from their mothers was inhumane.
41. Texas officials allegedly knew, before entering the YFZ Ranch, that the only person who was suspected of causing harm to one of the FLDS children was not present at the ranch, leaving the officials with no valid constitutional reason to enter the ranch.
42. CPS didn’t allow an FLDS mother to be with her child, even though the child was hospitalized with a 104 degree fever and the child’s doctor had requested the mother’s presence.
43. Foster care personnel insisted on being in the labor and delivery room while one FLDS “child” (who wasn’t a child) gave birth.
44. The State of Texas just can’t make up its mind whether teenage sexual activity is right or wrong.
45. A CPS worker admitted that CPS procedure calls for service plans to be based on evidence, even though that procedure wasn’t followed in dealing with the FLDS.