SAN ANGELO, Texas - The ACLU of Texas has joined the debate over the removal of 416 children from a polygamous sect's ranch more than two weeks ago. ...I hope that the fathers also receive due process.
In a statement released Friday, the Texas ACLU said the situation has raised "serious and difficult issues regarding the sometimes competing rights of children and their parents." The organization made the statement after listening to some testimony but before the judge issued an order continuing state custody of the children. ...
Lisa Graybill, legal director for the ACLU of Texas, said officials may have violated the U.S. Constitution and state laws in how they conducted the raid and the subsequent custody hearing.
"The government must ensure that each mother and each child in its custody receives due process of law in determining the placement of the children and other matters regarding the children's care," she said in the statement.
A reader responds:
How disingenuous! Why should these people be afforded more rights than they recognized in their own community? These 416 children were being reared in common. None of them knew who was their real mother and real father. The concept of estoppel should prevent these alleged mothers and fathers from now deciding to claim custody of children who had not previously known them as such.
Official ACLU policy is that the practice of plural marriage is protected by the First Amendment and that the Supreme Court decision holding otherwise (U.S. v. Reynolds, 1879) should be overturned.