It’s easy to find newspaper stories recapping the Court’s relatively brief opinions in the case. Here are some articles with a somewhat different analytical take:
- Volokh Conspiracy: Professor Eugene Volokh tries to put his finger on the disagreement between the majority and dissenting Justices and finds it in the notion of what makes a single “household.”
Here’s how he sums up his argument:
So this is why it seems to me that the heart of the partial dissenters’ argument must be that “the Ranch” is different from a normal neighborhood, presumably because it counts as a single “household” (something the dissenters don’t expressly say, but that they seem to point to by reference to behavior “on the Ranch” coupled with the mention of the “household” principle in note 2). And the majority’s disagreement, I expect, probably stems partly from the majority’s accepting the court of appeals’ contrary view that the Ranch consists of many separate households.
Now I can’t speak with confidence about how dispositive the “single household” vs. “multiple households” distinctions ought to be, or how the lines ought to be drawn in close cases if the distinction is used. But my sense is that this issue — which more broadly relates to the degree of responsibility that can be ascribed to any particular child’s parents for the abusive or neglectful actions of other parents in their community — is what the dispute in this particular stage of litigation is really about.
(If you’re looking for more analysis of the other issues lurking in the case, here is a collection of all the Volokh Conspiracy posts related to the case.)
From a publication on the other side of the political spectrum — and by an author on other side of the academic/experience divide — is this piece by a self-described “former member of the FLDS … who was forced to marry at age fourteen” (Elissa Wall). She also just got a movie deal.
The Wall Street Journal has an article today focusing on CPS’s reaction to the case. You might occasionally get the idea that the dissent had five votes, but that could just be how the reporter selected quotes and paraphrased sources.
- Dahlia Lithwick’s column, printed in the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday (and therefore only about the court of appeals’s decision), draws a loose parallel between the FLDS cases and the Guantanamo Bay cases — in terms of the best intentions of government actors getting tangled in the procedural requirements of the law.