The San Antonio Express News has an article about a cert petition pending in the U.S. Supreme Court that challenges the Texas parental-termination system. In particular, the petition argues that it is unconstitutional not to give the parent appointed counsel when parental termination is at stake, even in disputes between private parties. (The respondent argued that this issue had been waived for failure to secure the reporter’s record.)

The case moved up the Texas courts, reaching the Texas Supreme Court as In re J.C., No. 08-0351. It was then selected for the Texas Supreme Court’s new pro bono program, through which the parent obtained free counsel who wrote merits before on her behalf. The Texas Supreme Court ultimately denied review. The same counsel apparently stuck with her to write a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.

More information about the case in the Texas Supreme Court, including the briefs, is available by clicking here.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s docket entry is here. The case was distributed for last week’s conference and could be resolved as soon as this morning.