Evidence, Please

I have avoided commenting about the FLDS raid and the aftermath. Lots of allegations being tossed around but surprisingly little hard evidence was coming out. As things turned out, that's because CPS and the rest of the minions of the state of Texas didn't have much in the way of actual, supportable evidence. Of course, if you don't believe me, you might believe the Third Court of Appeals. The ruling is here, and a fairly lengthy breakdown of the decision can be found over at Lone Star Times.

I'll give you the thirty second summary. In order to justify removing children, CPS alleged a whole host of things for which they have no supporting evidence. All this was done because somebody thinks the FLDS is creepy and strange.

This ruling is a victory for all of us who care about civil liberties and any of us who might be considered creepy and strange. The bar for the state coming in and taking your kids ought to be set pretty goddamned high, and should be based on something more than just the personal prejudices of state workers. As personally repellent as I may find the FLDS belief system, the members have a right to hold those beliefs and to teach their beliefs to their children. The state doesn't get to come in and take hundreds of kids because mommy and daddy don't believe what the state thinks they should. That way lies a particularly vile form of tyranny that we've seen before elsewhere, and we sure as hell shouldn't acquiesce to someone trying it in the US.

Grits for Breakfast has been all over the case from the get go. He's also got a good post up on the burning question of who's going to pay for this giant clusterfuck. With cost estimates running up to $21 million dollars, somebody is going to take a huge budgetary hit. Maybe the cost, if nothing else, will cause the idiots who triggered the investigation to look a bit more closely next time.

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