In my earlier post about the silence of the blogs, some of those who commented proved prescient. One wrote that the raid "has both the Left and the Right holding their breaths with uncertainty." Another said that the issues "are so complex and distasteful" that many blawgers are "adopting a wait and see attitude." Still another said, "the 'ick' factor overwhelmed the facts." With yesterday's opinion, it is now safe for bloggers to break their silence.Among legal blogs Ambrogi singled out:
Peter Tillers, for one, calls the case a "civil liberties disaster." Steven Ballard says the court "did the right thing in denouncing the outrageous government raid." Eugene Volokh describes the opinion as "a sharp and detailed rebuke of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services," and considers the possibility of lawsuits against the department. Dahlia Lithwick finds parallels to Guantanamo, "as a noble effort suddenly got mired down in tricky factual disputes, cultural and religious clashes, and the practical necessity of warehousing hundreds of human beings for an indefinite period of time."A few more legal blawggers have chimed in since Ambrogi wrote that. Civil Commitment adds that "much of the problem with the FLDS kidnapping is that there's nothing to like," quoting Wendy McElroy, an "individualist" and "feminist" who's hopping mad. At American Thinker, an attorney and a philosopher co-author an essay explaining the real precursor to the Great Eldorado Polygamist Roundup: "The McMartin daycare abuse tragedy blazed a trail."
Meanwhile, here's an MSM piece for the attorneys in the crowd: The Christian Science Monitor yesterday surveyed the church-state issues evoked by the YFZ raid and its aftermath. The story included this observation:
"If I had been advising the [DFPS officials] in their suit, I would have said, 'Don't even think of asking about their beliefs,' " says Marci Hamilton, an expert on church-state issues at the Cardozo School of Law in New York. "Ask about their conduct and intent to act. They don't have to abuse a child to be guilty of a felony if they have the intent. There should have been more focus on conduct."The Third Court agreed with Hamilton's interpretation of what's historically been considered justifications for removing somebody's kids - their actions, not their religious beliefs. It's the affirmation of that legal touchstone, I think that perhaps has made the lawyers in the blogosphere more loose lipped on the subject.
In any event, there's plenty to talk about. To call the situation "fluid" would insult the relative stability of fluids. "Explosive" would be a more accurate term. Ambrogi's right there should be lots of continuous fodder going forward for the legal blogger crowd.
MORE: Forgot to mention a couple of Texas lawyer-bloggers who've written on the subject, starting Big Tom Kirkendall's recent post over at Houston's Clear Thinkers. Also, John Floyd reminds me that I should have mentioned his recent extended commentary on the subject. Several arguments in favor of the state's position have been assembled by our friend TxBluesman at Coram Non Judice. Who else am I missing among legal bloggers?