Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday morning quick hits

Appeals Court says Texas overreached when 468 children were removed from a polygamist compound outside Eldorado in western Texas. The unanimous ruling by three judges from the Third Court of Appeals in Austin revoked the state’s custody over the children of 38 mothers and, by extension, almost certainly the rest, for what it called a lack of evidence that they were in immediate danger of sexual or physical abuse. The ruling brought to a screeching halt the largest custody case in U.S. history and canceled custody hearings scheduled to take place in front of five judges in San Angelo. Susan Hays, a lawyer in Dallas who specializes in appellate law and who is the lawyer for a 2-year-old taken from the ranch, said the children might begin returning home as early as next week...“Right now, there is an order saying return the children,” Ms. Hays said. “It technically does not apply to all the women’s children. But practically it does.”...She said the state would have to file a motion for emergency release quickly that asks the court to stay the order...“If they don’t,” Ms. Hays said, “then we’re done. The children could be returned as soon as next week, or not depending on what happens with the high court.”

Congress curtails Bush's "war on drugs" aid to Mexico
and attached human rights conditions to the aid that was approved. This brought angry condemnations from critics in Mexico who accused the U.S. of meddling in Mexico's internal affairs. Add Mexico to the list of countries that doesn't want to be lectured on Human Rights by a country that staged as rapid retreat from the moral high-ground.

FDA to step up scrutiny of drugs after approval
Stung by criticism after repeated instances in which popular medications did irreparable harm to patients (Phen-Fen, Baycol, Rezulin, Vioxx) the FDA has introduced the Sentinal Innitiative to collect and correlate data on drugs and side effects. The data will be collected from Medicare reimbursement forms to assess the risks of drugs already on the market.

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