Thursday, December 11, 2008

Will Lege revisit Family Code after the Great Eldorado Polygamist Roundup?

This post from Kurt Schulzke over at Contraries (formerly I Perceive) questions whether the Texas Family Code may allow authorities to too easily remove children without cause, as happened in the Great Eldorado Polygamist Roundup.

The fact that appellate courts threw out most of those cases might lead one to think the law was fairly plain, but instead it was state agency actors and local jurists who engaged in such sweeping overreach. Maybe so. But there were many problematic aspects to that absurdist incident and the courts only ruled against CPS on one of them. It's still troublesome that CPS would even think they could take so many kids without the slenderest reed of specific evidence about their families, all based on what turned out to be a hoax phone call.

Part of me would like to suggest that the Family Code deserves revision in light of the Great Eldorado Polygamist Roundup, but the politics surrounding that case were a complete zoo and in truth, I have no idea how the Texas Legislature would deal with that case if asked to consider what happened. State Rep. Harvey Hildebran was a key instigator in pushing state action against the West Texas polygamists, and it wouldn't surprise me (though it would disappoint me) if the Lege endorsed a bill that made it easier to engage in religious-based persecution of families.

For that reason, maybe it's better to let sleeping dogs lie - to be thankful the appellate courts rose above gross politicization in this case and avoid seeking any legislative remedies.

RELATED: See this news story about use of the same tactics deployed against FLDS being used against non-polygamous citizens in an abusive fashion.

4 comments:

rage said...

If anything, they'll change it to make it easier to take kids, not harder.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I think that may be right, rage. It's why I'm hesitant to say somebody ought to try to address it. Things could easily get worse.

Anonymous said...

Right now the only way to make it harder to take children is to rely upon outrage expressed in the media.

The State does seems to be sensitive to the cost inovlved.
Change needs to come in the quality of care provided by the State when children are removed from their home. Statistics revealed during the FLDS Child removal are appalling!

This is something that clearly needs improvement and there would be few in the legislature that could support reducing the quality of care and associated costs.

It is a back door approach, but could work to reduce the removal of children when there are better options.

Anonymous said...

Hello, grits. We sparred earlier over this topic. I see your points about the potential for real abuse, maybe there was some here, but it seems that the real problem with CPS was being too hasty and botching what should have been a solid case.

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/12/24/1224eldorado.html

I would love to meet you offline and talk about this. Surely we can educate the public in a way that would help educate the legislature to empower CPS. This is madness. No child should be subjected to sexual abuse...in the name of religion or otherwise.

I'll write you and identify myself in the old fashioned way.

Have a great holiday and a Happy New Year.

The Other Guy (from In The Pink)