You are probably aware of the seemingly endless litigation about John Freshwater, the 8th-grade science teacher in Ohio who was accused of burning a cross on a student with a Tesla coil, teaching religion in his science class, and failing to follow the school district’s orders. Freshwater claimed that the district wanted to fire him only because he refused to remove a bible from his desk.
His case has dragged on for years — first in the form of an administrative hearing, which he lost, and then in a series of court cases challenging that, which he also lost. Now the thing has worked its way up to the state’s Supreme Court. Oral argument is scheduled for this morning, and you can watch that live here.
[Addendum: An archived video is now available: video of the Freshwater oral argument.]
Richard B. Hoppe has carried the burden of posting about this case at Panda’s Thumb, and you can see his latest here: Freshwater: Ohio Supreme Court oral arguments next week. Don’t be misled by that title; Richard posted it last week. Today is the day.
According to the court’s published schedule, the Freshwater case is the second of four cases that are scheduled for oral argument at 9:00 this morning — Ohio time. Ohio seems to be in the Eastern time zone — whatever that may mean to our readers in Australia (due to their upside-down environment, we assume they’re used to performing all sorts of temporal and spatial conversions). Anyway, that’s the only information we have about the timing of this event.
Freshwater lost at every earlier stage of this shabby affair, and no one can figure out why the Ohio Supreme Court decided to hear his appeal, but they did, so there’s a chance that something crazy might result. We don’t think that’s very likely, but judges sometimes do crazy things.
Oral argument at this level could be nothing but a big bore, with the lawyers droning on and on and the judges remaining silent. But these events are often vigorous, with good questions from well-prepared judges. It all depends on how interested they are. This isn’t some dreary dispute about calculating the sales tax, so it might be fun to watch.
Until the Coppedge case moves up to the appellate level, this is the only creationist courtroom show that’s going on at the moment. You wouldn’t want to miss it, would you? Hey, it’s gotta be more interesting than watching Congress.
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