Sponsored Content




Intermarkets' Privacy Policy
Support


Donate to Ace of Spades HQ!



Recent Entries
Absent Friends
Bandersnatch
GnuBreed 2024
Captain Hate 2023
moon_over_vermont 2023
westminsterdogshow 2023
Ann Wilson(Empire1) 2022
Dave In Texas 2022
Jesse in D.C. 2022
OregonMuse 2022
redc1c4 2021
Tami 2021
Chavez the Hugo 2020
Ibguy 2020
Rickl 2019
Joffen 2014
AoSHQ Writers Group
A site for members of the Horde to post their stories seeking beta readers, editing help, brainstorming, and story ideas. Also to share links to potential publishing outlets, writing help sites, and videos posting tips to get published. Contact OrangeEnt for info:
maildrop62 at proton dot me
Cutting The Cord And Email Security
Moron Meet-Ups





















ę Obama Gives Hillary the Finger? | Main | WaPo Fires Unmasked Kissing Suzy Kolber Blogger For Bringing "Discredit" Upon the Paper Ľ
April 17, 2008

Custody Hearings Begin in Polygamy Ranch Case

I haven't posted on the polygamist ranch case yet because the whole thing creeps me out. It's not so much the unusual marriage situation that included not just polygamy, but also wife-swaps. Rather, the way these poor folks seem genuinely happy about their isolated, throwback lives. The choices they make are disturbing because they are so alien, and so I've been sort of avoiding the story.

But this deserves a mention. Hundreds of lawyers have volunteered to represent the children pro bono, several of them from some of the most prestigious law firms in the country. The Texas bar has no pro bono work requirement. The initial hearing--a joint hearing--started today. It was a circus.

Texas District Judge Barbara Walther struggled to keep order as she faced 100 lawyers in her 80-year-old Tom Green County courtroom and several hundred more participating over a grainy video feed from an ornate City Hall auditorium two blocks away.

The hearing disintegrated quickly into a barrage of shouted objections and attempts to file motions, with lawyers for the children objecting to objections made by the parents' attorneys. When the judge sustained an objection to the prolonged questioning of the state trooper, the lawyers cheered.

Upon another objection about the proper admission of medical records of the children, the judge threw up her hands.

"I assume most of you want to make the same objection. Can I have a universal, `Yes, Judge'?" she said.

In both buildings, the hundreds of lawyers stood and responded in unison: "Yes, Judge."

It's hard to imagine that justice will be served in this fashion. The state is having trouble finding and admitting evidence about what went on at "the ranch"--partly because the children are tight-lipped around "hostile and immoral" outsiders--and they're having to house the 416 children while this goes on. The parents' attorneys' are having to contend with the state attorneys for ultimate custody, but also with the childrens' court-appointed attorneys.

I don't envy the judge at all. What if the evidence shows that the girls were forced into underage marriages to older men? It's possible that will be enough to declare that the other girls cannot be allowed to return, for fear of abuses in the future. But if that's all the state can show, does that mean it has to return the boys? Can the judge rule against a lifestyle? The consequences would be disturbing for everyone.

MORE: Thanks to Dawnsblood for posting the link to DRJ's coverage at Patterico's, which I hadn't seen. It gives a much better picture of what was going on at the ranch and in the courtroom.

Texas is not equipped to deal with this many custody cases simultaneously. The judge told lawyers today that she is adopting a "looser procedure" to deal with the case. I'm sure that has the parents' attorneys drawing up appeals strategy already.

This also gives me some pause:

12:34 [pm] - But the massive proceedings donít turn on a dime, and another attorney issues an objection regarding freedom of religion.

Walther takes a direct route, saying she isnít dealing with freedom of religion objections at this point, ďbut Iíll take it under advisement.Ē

I don't know what Texas trial procedure is like, or if there is an abbreviated procedure for child custody hearings, but the fact that the judge appears unwilling to rule on objections is a problem.


digg this
posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:41 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Alberta Oil Peon: "Just finished spraying six gallons of glyphosate o ..."

al gore, carbon credit billionaire: "For amusement factor: Collin Rugg @CollinRugg ..."

Braenyard: "78 And they said cats couldn't be trained. Post ..."

RedMindBlueState[/i][/b][/s][/u]: "[i]Ben Had! May I please join you? Posted by: ..."

Ben Had: " nurse, you honor me. ..."

redridinghood: "And they said cats couldn't be trained. ..."

Cicero (@cicero43): "[i]Lots of deer around me. My answer is an observe ..."

fd: ""Every day is a fresh new day for dogs. Posted by ..."

nurse ratched : "Ben Had! May I please join you? ..."

Braenyard: "And as quick as it started it ended. cold as a ma ..."

RedMindBlueState[/i][/b][/s][/u]: "[i]RMBS, Tuscan herb and wild mushroom sage coming ..."

Alizarin Crimson: "I think ‘ do you want to ride in the carR ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64