AUSTIN, Texas – We have just received word that Gov. Perry has vetoed SB 1440, which would have allowed Child Protective Services expansive new power to search and seize children and their medical records without consent or notice to parents, without a court hearing, and without “good cause”, in direct violation of a recent federal court of appeals decision.
“We applaud Gov. Perry for standing for parental rights, and sending the message that our Constitutional rights cannot be cast aside by unverified, uncorroborated anonymous tips.” said Jonathan Saenz, director of legislative affairs and constitutional attorney at Free Market Foundation (FMF).
“Texas children are not ‘children of the state.’ This bill was a direct attack on the fundamental rights of every Texas parent. I am very thankful we have Governor Perry in office to stop this last minute bill amendment, which would have been a travesty for Texas,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of free market Foundation.
FMF opposed the bill because of wording added on the last days of the session by Rep. Patrick Rose (D-Dripping Springs) after the original bill, SB 1064, by Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin), failed to receive a House vote. In a last minute attempt to save the failed legislation, the language was reintroduced by Rep. Rose as an amendment to SB 1440, which passed the House. FMF helped draft a legal analysis letter, which was signed onto by numerous national and Texas groups and sent to the Governor asking him to veto the legislation on the grounds that it violates clearly established law: it strips children and parents of fundamental rights, and opens the door to dangerous government intervention in the home and elsewhere.
“This veto was vital. Enacting a law like SB 1440, which is clearly unconstitutional, is as foolish as a kid saying, ‘It’s only illegal, if I get caught,’” said Cecilia Wood, Board Certified Texas family law attorney.
Thank you to all the calls and emails that came in from the grassroots across Texas!! We heard reports of 5000+ people had contacted Gov. Perry’s office on this issue. I was also told that this bill was “the talk of the Capitol” this week.
Click here to view Legal Analysis letter we helped write, along with board certified Family attorneys and the Texas Home School Coalition. http://txvalues.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/sb1440-vetorequest-thehonr-perry-06-15-091.pdf