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How Do You Make a Lawyer Cry?

How do you make a lawyer cry? That's the teaser the blog Grits for Breakfast uses to introduce a San Angelo Standard-Times report that begins, "Attorneys and mothers alike wept on the Tom Green County Courthouse lawn, rejoicing in the reversal by an Austin appeals court of a San Angelo judge's decision to remove hundreds of children from a polygamist Mormon splinter sect." As Carolyn Elefant noted here yesterday, I was critical in an earlier post of legal bloggers' silence over Texas's wholesale removal of more than 400 FLDS children. With yesterday's appeals court ruling that the state had no right to seize the children, the blogosphere is at last breaking its silence.

Peter Tillers, for one, calls the case a "civil liberties disaster." Steven Ballard says the court "did the right thing in denouncing the outrageous government raid." Eugene Volokh describes the opinion as "a sharp and detailed rebuke of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services," and considers the possibility of lawsuits against the department. Dahlia Lithwick finds parallels to Guantanamo, "as a noble effort suddenly got mired down in tricky factual disputes, cultural and religious clashes, and the practical necessity of warehousing hundreds of human beings for an indefinite period of time."

In my earlier post about the silence of the blogs, some of those who commented proved prescient. One wrote that the raid "has both the Left and the Right holding their breaths with uncertainty." Another said that the issues "are so complex and distasteful" that many blawgers are "adopting a wait and see attitude." Still another said, "the 'ick' factor overwhelmed the facts." With yesterday's opinion, it is now safe for bloggers to break their silence.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on May 23, 2008 at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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