as the biggest legal story in recent weeks moves forward, one involving hundreds of lawyers and affecting the lives of many hundreds of women and children, the legal blogosphere seems blind to it all. As one who has come to look forward to blog commentary for insight and perspective, I am disappointed.For the most part, I'd have to agree, especially since Texas enjoys an exceptionally robust legal blawgosphere. A few have offered excuses, but for the most part our Texas blawggers, like those nationally, have remained mute (if I missed your post, please let me know). One exception is The Local Crank, a frequent Grits commenter and one of the 400+ attorneys who
Did no one think in advance to look if there were enough lawyers in a five county radius to serve as ad litems? Or if it was even feasible for one district court to shut down all it's operations to devote to one case? Or if there was even a courtroom big enough? And now, after letting some mothers come along with their children (admittedly an unusual act in a removal case), then stripping them of their cell phones, now they decide to kick them out unless they have kids under 4? This sort of screaming incompetence is going to permanently scar these children AND risk destroying any criminal cases that might be made. It's just beyond belief.That agrees essentially with my assessment so far. I fear this overreaction by the state will make it impossible to pursue real abuse cases, and simply cause more harm than it cures.
Non-lawyer bloggers continue to offer some interesting thoughts. JourneyGal wonders "How many great-great grandmas do you have?," adding "I have a lot, because my great-great-grandpa had four wives." She supports the raid, but adds that, "I feel sad for women in Texas losing their children for crimes they either do not understand or do not believe they have committed. ProfessorUnc supports polygamy for adults but thinks FLDS' particular practices amount to "systematic rape." The MSM on this case, perhaps because of the salacious nature of the topic, is doing a more thorough than usual job. For example, I was humored to see an MSNBC story about the Pentagon contracting with a company run by the FLDS sect in Utah for military parts.
Ambrogi's right, though, that more law blawggers need to weigh in. For my part, I've written so much about the case because I've found the whole situation fascinating, a wild intersection of a whole slew of conflicting rights, values and interests on many, many levels. It's a situation where it's very difficult to decide what's right, so a more substantive debate among knowledgeable, thoughtful writers in the legal community would indeed be quite welcome.
UPDATE: Mark Bennett points me to a post yesterday from Ron's Insanity, by a family lawyer and regular Grits commenter from Houston, in which Ron concludes:
Here's my take on the FLDS organization. (I'm actually getting pretty disgusted with even calling them a religion.) They damage the lives of girls by turning them into child brides. They discard their male children because they're ultimately competition for sexual partners.MORE: Here's a good analysis from ABC News about the upcoming court hearing Thursday morning to determine if the YFZ kids will remain in state custody.
The Constitution is not an easy document. If you're a constitutional lover, it's easy to say that the First Amendment should control. However, like much in life, it's just not that tidy.
However, I'm still not certain that CPS will cause less harm than that organization would in the lives of those 416 children.