Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Cobb County -- No Ruling Yet

Way back on December 15, we reported that a hearing on the Cobb County school district's appeal of U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper order to remove intelligent design inspired stickers from Biology textbooks there had not gone at all well for supporters of science education.

At the time, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that:
During oral arguments Thursday in Atlanta, all members of the federal appeals court panel noted U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper made errors in determining the stickers violated the First Amendment by endorsing a religious viewpoint.

There was also some confusion, by the judges hearing the appeal, on the timing of petitions signed by supporters of the religious right who opposed the district's new science textbooks, which, despite the presence of the stickers, did a much better job of teaching evolution than the previous ones.

This confusion was cleared up in a subsequent filing by attorneys for the parents who objected to the stickers.

Just a few days after the Cobb County appeal was heard, Judge John Jones issued his now famous ruling that teaching intelligent design was unconstitutional in Pennsylvania public schools.

When Red State Rabble spoke to a source close to the Cobb County case earlier this year, we were told that a ruling might be expected on the case as early as March.

That obviously hasn't happened.

We don't know when a ruling might now be expected, and we have absolutely no idea what that ruling will turn out to be. However, the length of time that's passed since the hearing back in December may be an indication that the issues aren't as clear cut as the three judge panel assumed when they first heard the appeal.

And that might, just might, be a good thing for science and public education.


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