Friday, May 16, 2008

About those pregnant FLDS minors ...

In an earlier post, I pointed out that the Texas authorities were being deliberately dishonest by making statements about how many girls of what age were pregnant or mothers while refusing to accept birth ceritificates as evidence of age. They have now conceded that both of the "minors" who gave birth while in state custody were actually adults. One of them was eighteen, the other twenty-two. An early report of the authorities' claims about supposed minors supposedly aged 14-17 included the assertion that two were pregnant. If so, the number is now down to zero.

Twenty-four more of the supposed minors claim to be adults. The CNN story I linked to, considering what might happen if those women are eliminated from the count of minors with children, concludes that there would be left:

"... about one-fifth of the girls that age found at the ranch -- substantially higher than the average rate of teen pregnancies in Texas but a far cry from 60 percent."

According to webbed figures from the Guttmacher Institute, about 6% of Texas girls aged 15-19 get pregnant each year. They don't give a figure for 14-17, which is the age range being claimed for the FLDS mothers, but the national figure for that age range is about 4% and Texas has one of the higher teen pregnancy rates so it might be 6%. The relevant figure for comparison is not, as CNN seems to imply, the number who get pregnant each year but the number who have ever been pregnant, which should be substantially higher. On the simplest assumption--that the pregnancy rate is constant and the age distribution of the FLDS girls is flat--that would be about 12%.

Having held them in Texas until they had their children on the unsupported, and now concededly false, claim that they were minors, the state is now claiming custody over their infants.

The question, to which someone who knows law better than I do may have an answer, is whether the victims of this abuse of legal process have any legal recourse. On the face of it, the state of Texas either deliberately or negligently violated the rights of both women, holding them prisoner without any legal justification for doing so.

What follows? I do not know. If I were a member of the FLDS, I would be looking for some way of getting the case out of the Texas courts and into federal court. One possibility would be to argue that Texas is deliberately attempting to suppress a religion, using fraudulent claims as an excuse, and is thus in violation of the First Amendment.


At 11:34 PM, May 16, 2008, Blogger googleads said...

They kinda don't talk about that black lady they arrested who made the original calls to the police, pretending she was an abused sect member.

I knew this would happen from the beginning. Its just like if I burned a cross in my own yard and blamed it on the KKK. Even after the truth came out, some people would STILL insist the KKK did it. Why? Because they are tin-pot fascists with a mission, and they need validation. In this case we're talking about state workers.

If I were an FLDS member and this thing came out clean, I'd sue the state of Texas and file a PERSONAL suit against every worker involved.

At 11:59 PM, May 16, 2008, Blogger Hugh McBryde said...

Mr. Friedman,

I've been pointing this out for a while on my blog. Thanks for the confirmation.

At 12:11 AM, May 17, 2008, Blogger David Friedman said...

Googleads wants to sue the state of Texas and the individuals involved.

That's my gut feeling too, but I doubt it would work. You run into the problem of sovereign immunity. To first approximation, you can only sue a government if it chooses to let you.

At 5:00 AM, May 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 5:38 AM, May 17, 2008, Blogger jimbino said...

It's because of "sovereign immunity that Al Gore invented high explosives.

God damn Amerika.

At 5:51 PM, May 17, 2008, Anonymous Mr. Mercy Vetsel said...

This case was an outrage from the very beginning and it's becoming increasingly apparent that the minority of Americans who still believe in freedom, need to speak out against this blatant violation of due process, presumed innocence and freedom of religion.

Most people in the feckless mainstream media don't want to defend the victims because they happen to hold bizarre religious beliefs that are different from the bizarre religious beliefs held by most Americans.

I think the FLDS should claim to be a Muslim group. Maybe then they could interest the filthy rich law firms like Shearman & Sterling who are in such a rush to free Gitmo detainees and send them back to their gruesome business of blowing up civilians.

Next FLDS members should arm themselves to the teeth. That Christian bit about the meek inheriting the earth doesn't seem to be panning out.


At 6:57 AM, May 19, 2008, Blogger Katya said...

Here is why people have trouble fighting / suing CPS. It's not even the question of suing the government (although surely that comes up). It is the question of the family only being reunited once the case is closed... and it is not closed while it is in dispute.

New York City has enacted a tough new policy that allows the authorities to remove newborns from their parents’ homes in all but an “extraordinary instance” if the parents previously had children taken from their custody and their case is still open.

At 9:34 AM, May 20, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd sue the state of Texas and file a PERSONAL suit against every worker involved..

They are immune. The state of Texas has immunity, but more specifically CPS workers have special immunity.

I think what we are seeing here is Americans that are surprised that there is a law enforcement agency that isn't required to have a trial, show evidence, apologize, has no oversight, or internal investigations and can arbitrarily remove any child from any home based on the word of a single social worker for up to a year and whose workers are immune from civil suits. That 14 day hearing? That was it--that was due process, that was "the trial" and the evidence.

Policitians don't seem to have a problem with this.

Now what?

At 9:00 AM, May 22, 2008, Blogger Unnr said...

About those pregnant 14 year olds...

Today they also declaired one girl not pregnant.

At 9:19 AM, May 22, 2008, Blogger Hugh McBryde said...

The return trip to YFZ yesterday may well have been an attempt to find another "underage pregnant girl."

My guess is that Texas has just given us a "tell." They know what cards they hold and they don't hold any "underage pregnant/formerly pregnant" girls that can make a case. There is a good chance they were looking to additional cases in their paranoid belief that there really are pregnant underage sex slaves and they're hidden somewhere on the ranch.

I think when this is all over they will be shown to have searched desperately by whatever means possible to find fleeing victims in other states spirited away by their grunting ugly viagra popping pedophile male abusers.

At 3:39 PM, May 23, 2008, Anonymous Michael H. Ross said...

This whole setup is becomming more upsetting. . . If the states are allowed to raid communities to look for evidence of any crime based on anonymous tips....Where is this country headed ????? When will the state kick in my door because my neighbor who goes to my church is accoused of a crime??????Do I now have to be prepared to prove my innocence at all times or are states going to have to prove guilt?????Are states going to start profiling to the point of raiding entire communities when a crime might have happened????


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