The last time we wrote about this litigation was in a post about several court cases: Creationist Litigation Update: 29 Nov 2013. At that time, nothing was happening with any of them.
We’ve been calling this one the Kansas NGSS Case, because suit was filed in the US District Court’s Topeka office (for those who don’t know, that’s in Kansas) to bar the state from implementing the evolution-friendly Next Generation Science Standards (the “NGSS”). The creationist plaintiff has the Orwellian name of “Citizens for Objective Public Education, Inc.” (COPE). You can find generalized links to information at the Justia website: COPE et al v. Kansas State Board of Education et al, but you can’t access the court’s docket, which lists what’s been filed, and you can’t read the pleadings without a PACER subscription.
Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) do have a subscription, and they’re archiving the pleadings here: COPE v. Kansas State BOE. We always like to call your attention to “Exhibit A” attached to the complaint, which starts at page 37. It’s an astounding collection of mind-numbing creationist arguments.
The news today is that for the first time since the complaint was filed, the case is showing signs of life. NCSE has just posted Kansas answers COPE. They say:
In documents filed on December 5, 2013, the defendants in COPE et al. v. Kansas State Board of Education et al. asked the United States District Court for the District of Kansas to dismiss the suit, saying … that the court lacks jurisdiction over all claims asserted in the complaint and that the complaint fails to state a claim against the defendants.
NCSE (bless ‘em and their financial supporters) has already archived the state’s motion: Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. It’s a two-page pdf file, but most of that is the case heading and the attorney’s signature block (it’s the Kansas Attorney General’s office). The actual substance is quite brief:
COMES NOW, all Defendants, by and through counsel, and pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) and (6), move this Court to dismiss Plaintiffs’ claims. This Court lacks jurisdiction over all claims asserted in Plaintiffs’ Complaint (Doc. #1), and the Complaint fails to state a claim against Defendants.
Pursuant to D. Kan. R. 7.1(a), Defendants simultaneously file a memorandum in support of this motion.
Here’s a link to that memorandum, which is archived at the NCSE website. Yowie — it’s a 48 page pdf file. Looking at the Table of Contents, it covers these subjects: the state has sovereign immunity, the plaintiffs have no standing, the science standards (the NGSS) are secular, not religious, and they have nothing to do with Secular Humanism. The standards don’t violate the Constitution’s equal protection clause, nor do they restrict the plaintiffs’ right of free speech.
If you’re addicted to reading documents like that, dig right in and let us know if there are any goodies to be found there. Our only response is a cold shudder. Your Curmudgeon has always avoided debating creationists, because they’re either deliberately lying (and will go on doing so), or else they’re flat-out insane and have no cognitive ability at all. Either way, it’s a waste of lifespan to even talk to them. That’s why the Attorney General’s office has our sympathy. It must be intellectually daunting to be faced with a totally garbage lawsuit that makes all kinds of garbage claims, and to have to draft all this stuff in order to defend against it.
The state also filed this Motion to Stay Discovery, which asks that all discovery be suspended until the court has ruled on the state’s motion to dismiss.
Thus ends today’s episode of the creationist soap opera in Kansas. [*Tear-jerking music swells in the background*] Will the good, god-fearing folks of Kansas triumph against the satanic evolutionists? Will the atheist state force its godless theory of evolution on the innocent children? Stay tuned for the next thrilling episode of Kansas, the Flat Earth State — Rapture or Retribution?
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