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ACLU and the new Dover board in cahoots


. . . Why would the new board keep in place the evolution policy it once so ardently opposed? The School District’s suit brought national attention and ridicule to the community, and the testimony of the former board members exacerbated the situation. A likely forthcoming decision by Judge Jones would overrule both the board and the theory of intelligent design. By rescinding the old board’s evolution policy prior to a court ruling, the new board might have curtailed legal costs and fees incurred by a victorious ACLU and AUSCS. But the new board accepted a likely stinging defeat in court, with painful legal bills attached.

It is now three months following the Dover Area School District’s courtroom defeat and the ACLU, AUSCS, and the new board members have some tough questions to answer. The groups’ ostensibly charitable demands for $1 million in costs and attorneys’ fees (rather than the original $2 million) needs to be explained in greater detail than has henceforth been granted. Dover Board member Rehm hasn’t returned phone calls or answered e-mails.

With a $1 million reimbursement from the Dover School District, and their ongoing public relations campaign to pose as generous compromisers in this struggle, the ACLU and AUSCS are playing up their achievement to the broader American public, over three quarters of which want intelligent design taught alongside Darwinism in schools. In the words of ACLU’s Eric Rothschild following their victory in Dover: “Are we a little bit famous now? Yes, and it’s amazing.”


I am pretty sure that the case utterly hinged on the constitutional issue of the establishment clause. Judge Jones's decision clearly states that ID=religion. In fact, that is what the whole case argued. I read the whole grueling thing. They put a bunch of religious appologists on the stand for ID and determined ID to be religious. When activist judges create the legal reality to support the meme (ID=religion), then researchers in the ID sciences have more and more trouble getting grants, christians are made laughingstocks, and the foundations of our society tremble. When America no longer calls itself a Christian Nation, we have lost and our children will suffer. Doug
Show me the money! - how nice of them to just ask for loose pocket change! :) Charlie Charliecrs
Huh, now this is interesting. Somehow not surprising. Why is it that the obvious always gets overlooked? Why not, if you want to know where a group or a person's heart really is, follow the money... carbon14atom
"Generally speaking, under 42 U.C.S. Section 1988 any plaintiff who prevails in a suit brought to enforce a constitutional right is entitled to an award of attorneys fees as a matter of right. In other words, if a prevailing plaintiff in a constitutional case requests fees, the judge is required to award them." Not familiar with constitutional law, but could any of you tell me what specific 'constitutional right' is being protected or enforced? Is this the establishment clause? And thus ID = religion meme? In reality, the only way it could be against the constitution even with the prior false ruling of establishment clause to the contrary is if a "teacher" specifically states while teaching ID, that the Designer is God, Allah, Bhudda, or any one of 3000 Hindu Gods. I'm not sure how this case was lost unless the judge had intent to squash it all along or the ID lawyers could not make this point of distinction stick clearly. I think the next case should be brought up by a teacher who challenges with ID as scientific, utilizing IRC and CSI. If fired, then the case involves many avenues. A right of an individual to speak critically of evolution or to speak of new scientific paradigms by scientist is a constitutional right to be fully protected by our laws. We do not need board members to do it top down. Instead, it is every individuals right to speak of science fields openly without fear of reprisals. The only way a school board or ACLU could stop ID is if the teacher states that the only choice is a divine God and relates it to the Bible, Quran or other sacred literature. But if the teacher treats it for its full open ability to include any kind of designer - ET, even like SETI then, its in like Flynn, or is that Flint. The teacher needs to be the plaintiff, not school boards. Michaels7
mfrancisco I understand your mootness point. However, even if the the Dover school board had repealed the policy, this judge would probably award fees. Yes, if the policy had been repealed the school district’s lawyers would have argued the case was moot and should be dismissed on that ground. They would then argue that no relief had been entered, and the ACLU would not be a “prevailing party” entitled to an award of fees. That would be a best case for the district, but there are at least two avenues around such an argument. First, the judge could refuse to employ the mootness doctrine on the ground that the voluntary cessation of the unconstitutional conduct was merely a tactic to avoid judicial review, and the conduct was likely to recur. Also, even if the judge agreed the case for a declaratory judgment was no longer valid, he could award nominal damages, and the Supreme Court has held that nominal damages can suffice to make the plaintiff a prevailing party for purposes of entitlement to attorneys fees. Farrar v. Hobby, 506 U.S. at 115. Somehow, given this judge’s attitude, I think he would have found a way to award fees no matter what the district did. BarryA
To clarify, the hypothetical caes for Mootness in Kitzmiller would have involved the Judge finding the case moot before rendering a legally binding decision. If no decision would have been rendered, then no attorneys fees would have come. Repealing the policy would in no way guarantee that the case would be found moot, but keepign the policy in place guaranteed that the question would not even be examined. mfrancisco
Generally speaking, under 42 U.C.S. Section 1988 any plaintiff who prevails in a suit brought to enforce a constitutional right is entitled to an award of attorneys fees as a matter of right. In other words, if a prevailing plaintiff in a constitutional case requests fees, the judge is required to award them. Repealing the offending policy at the last minute before the judge renders his decison does not usually let the government entity off the hook for fees. BarryA
The PT post misses the point. As I explain over at Evolution News & Views, the appearance of collusion does not depend on the single board member. The newly elected DASB board was elected to repeal the policy, they met December 5, before the decision came down, and a citizen urged them to repeal the policy to avoid fees. The informed citizen brought legal briefs. The openly anti-ID Board then kept the old ID policy in place. The DASB thus knew they were risking expensive legal fees, and could have avoided that by simply doing what they campaigned to do: repeal the old policy. I still think it looks like the anti-ID board spent taxpayer money to secure a legal judgment in their favor, even if the original article mistook when one of the board member's started. That totally misses the point. Michael mfrancisco
PT is claiming that this is factually incorrect. johnnyb
This wouldn't be the first time the ACLU had "backstage access" if the allegation is true. They pulled some stuff with that 10 commandments judge in Alabama too... the judgement against the judge was foreknown by months. jaredl
I've suspected this was set up from the inside with some confidence in the judges' unjudiciousness well ahead of time. They're comrades...darwinite cultists. mmadigan

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