Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Dover: The Writing on the Wall

When questioning a witness, attorneys are well advised never to ask a question if they don't already know the answer what the answer will be. Likewise, journalists -- and here we include poor bloggers like ourselves -- will have learned never to predict the outcome of future events, such as a how a judge will rule on a case. Experienced journalists will be especially wary of predicting the outcome of events when they believe strongly they already know what the outcome will be.

Although we can't imagine how things could possibly have gone better for the Dover plaintiffs who oppose the former school board's mandate that a statement supportive of intelligent be read to ninth grade biology students in the district, Red State Rabble will not predict the outcome of the Dover intelligent design trial.

We will observe, however, from reading the defendant's brief in support of proposed findings of fact, that despite their protestations that they will appeal all the way to the Supreme Court, attorneys for the Thomas More Law Center, who represented the board, have apparently given up on the case.

The defendants proposed findings of fact range from the merely hopeful:

45. To Bonsell, Creationism means a literal interpretation of the Bible, which is a matter of religious faith for Bonsell.

46. To Bonsell ID is not Creationism.

To the irrelevant:
48. Buckingham never contemplated mandatory prayer for students while on the board or discussed it with anyone on the board.

It's a good thing the attorneys for the Thomas More Center offered their services to the district for free, because, apparently, they were so eager to be done with the case that they didn't even bother to proofread their brief, as in this example:
55. Any mention of Creationism by Bonsell during this meeting was plainly desultory as no witness has no independent recollection of what Bonsell said.

Additionally, a good deal of space in the brief is taken up with things the board members are reported to have said, but, for some reason, no longer remember.

In their heart of hearts, the brief indicates that the Attorneys for Thomas More -- having already lost their clients in the Dover school board election earlier this month -- are now reconciled to losing the case.

Despite all that, RSR will not predict the outcome of the case, we will tell you that the best holiday gift we can think of may come from Judge Jones toward the end of this month.


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