It had to have stung a bit when the Appellate and Texas Supreme Court rebuked Child Protective Services for an abuse of authority or at least poor judgment and planning in regards to FLDS mass removal. Unfortunately this happened in front of a national audience. The last thing the Dept. needs is more negative publicity. Perhaps there is a silver lining in the strong arm of this legislative cloud. The system of Child Protection is deeply flawed because its workers and those in positions of authority are the ones flawed.  The promoted values and the goals set for families are good and right but those running the system assume objectivity.

The Texas Child Welfare system like many other governing bodies is top heavy with management; decision makers who rule people on paper.  There is discontinuity between the servants in the field and the managers in the office.   The 460 child removal exploits this weakness.        

It has been reported by those in the field that policy and procedures where ignored from the beginning. Some investigative observations were muffled by uniformity. The cost was ne’er counted before seizure of children or consequence. Where bigamy laws violated? Yes. Were bigamy laws violated against 460 children? No. Has law enforcement arrested anyone for breaking the laws of bigamy? No, because clear and convincing evidence has not been offered by an officer of the court.

Reason to believe is the lowest standard of proof in which CPS operates upon.  This proof is further complicated by the minds of those fallible persons who operate the Child Welfare System. In 1968, the United States Supreme Court ruled that reasonable doubt requires “specific, articulable, and individualized suspicion that crime is afoot.” A suspicion is not enough to constitute reasonable doubt. “As a result of the low threshold, the extent of intrusiveness of the search and/or seizure allowed is lower than the extent of intrusiveness allowed when a government agent has probable cause to suspect that evidence of a crime will be found.”

Consequently, the Appellate and Texas Supreme Court found that Child Protective Services did overstep their legislative authority in the wholesale removal of 460 children and violated their cultural values and heritage. Did something like this happen to Native Americans? The bumper sticker appropriately reads, “Don’t mess with Texas.”