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:: A constitutional law blog by Scalia/Thomas fan David M. Wagner, M.A., J.D., Research Fellow, National Legal Foundation, and Teacher, Veritas Preparatory Academy. Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect those of the NLF or Veritas. :: bloghome | E-mail me ::


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    [::..archive..::]
    ::

    :: Friday, April 18, 2008 ::
    Prescribing what shall be orthodox

    The judge in the Texas polygamist "sect" case has found in favor of continued state custody for the children, at least so far.

    One remarkable fact is that the finding is based on no proven abuse, but only on the asserted strangeness of the sect's beliefs. With a hat-tip to Eugene Volokh, I would draw attention the following lines from this story:
    Under cross-examination, state child-welfare investigator Angie Voss conceded there have been no allegations of abuse against babies, prepubescent girls or any boys.

    But her agency, Child Protective Services, contends that the teachings of the FLDS — to marry shortly after puberty, have as many children as possible and obey their fathers or their prophet, imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs — amount to abuse.

    There you have it. No abuse -- not even "allegations of abuse" -- but a big problem with "the teachings of" the sect.


    In West Va. Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, Justice Jackson said for the Court:

    If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.
    However celebrated, this dictum was always blather, and its blatherdom has been demonstrated again today.


    :: David M. Wagner 9:51 PM [+] ::
    ...

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