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In a split decision Thursday, the Texas Supreme Court upheld a mandamus decision by Austin’s 3rd Court of Appeals that orders the children removed from a polygamist compound in Eldorado to be returned to their parents.

Although it’s not clear from the opinion in In Re: Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, a lawyer for three of the mothers who appealed 51st District Court Judge Barbara Walther’s April decision to the 3rd Court says the Supreme Court’s ruling will apply to all of the more than 450 children who are in state custody and will allow them to be reunited with their parents. Walther had granted the department temporary custody of some of the children who had been living at the West Texas Yearning for Zion ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

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