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.”
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.
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.
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.
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. The Texas Appleseed Report concluded that “there are a number of flaws in Texas’ foster care system, and that as a result, children in the system are at risk of significant harm.” The report indicated that there were 1647 complaints of abuse or neglect in 2006, 250 of which were judged to be real. With 41,305 children under CPS oversight at the end of 2006, that yields a rate of more than 6 cases of documented abuse per 1,000 children. It is nearly certain statistically, given the large number of FLDS children that were taken into state custody, that some of them will be abused while they are in state custody. And these statistics don’t even address the anxiety experienced by children being separated from their parents or the cultural dislocation that the children will face. The court testimony just doesn’t provide enough evidence of possible abuse of all the children to outweigh the documented problems with the system into which these children have been hurled.
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. The Texas Appleseed Report cited a 2006 study by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) regarding the use of psychotropic drugs in the Texas foster care system. The DSHS study reported that over half of Medicaid-eligible teenagers in the foster system were prescribed psychotropic drugs. One of the reasons for this high rate of prescription drug use is that “even fundamentally normal children who have been taken from their homes and families can become aggressive and ’emotionally reactive’ due to a lost sense of trust, and their conditions are only worsened by multiple placements and frequent caseworker turnover.”