The Caldwell Case — It’s Back!

We’ve had two earlier posts about the Caldwell litigation, the last being three months ago: Caldwell Litigation Against UC: Dismissal Affirmed on Appeal, where we said:

Presumably, except for possible post-appeal motions and maybe a petition to the US Supreme Court, the Caldwell litigation has now come to an end.

Well, as reported in the Granite Bay Press-Tribune of Roseville, California: Caldwells’ case against Berkeley Web site being appealed to Supreme Court :

A local couple is appealing to the United States Supreme Court a dismissal of their lawsuit that took aim at a U.C. Berkeley Web site on evolution.

Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute announced Tuesday it had filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s 2006 dismissal of the case in October.

The case was filed by Granite Bay resident Larry Caldwell on behalf of his wife, Jeanne Caldwell, and claimed a U.C. Berkeley Web site on evolution pushed a religious viewpoint in violation of the separation of church and state.

What’s the case all about? As we said in our earlier article, Caldwell complained mostly about a link — a link! — at an educational website called Understanding Evolution, created by the University of California at Berkeley. We said:

The link at the UC website that allegedly violated the First Amendment was apparently this: Statements from Religious Organizations. That article is at Eugenie Scott’s National Center for Science Education

What can we say about this latest development that hasn’t already been said at Panda’s Thumb: Caldwell Asks Supreme Court to Take Frivolous Website Case?

We can tell you something about the Pacific Justice Institute, which is handling this appeal for Jeanne Caldwell, the plaintiff in the original case. That link is to their website, which informs us that:

Pacific Justice Institute is a non-profit 501(c)(3) legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties. Pacific Justice Institute works diligently, without charge, to provide their clients with all the legal support they need.

And we can direct you to a Wikipedia article about Larry Caldwell, Jeanie’s husband, who represented her in the earlier phases of this case. Wikipedia says:

Larry Caldwell, a pro-intelligent design activist and attorney, has been active in bringing litigation in causes supporting the intelligent design movement.


Caldwell, and his wife Jeanne Caldwell, of Roseville, California, operate as Quality Science Education for All (QSEA). He describes his goals as challenging evolution as currently taught in public schools using what he calls the Quality Science Education method, which would, in his words, teach “some of the scientific weaknesses of evolution,” to teach about evolution in a manner he views as covering it “objectively, not dogmatically.”

We can also remind you that — no surprise — the Caldwell litigation has been championed by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids). For example, see: Darwinist Hypocrisy in the UC Berkeley Website Lawsuit: Is There Really “No Such Thing as a Little Constitutional Violation”? (by Casey Luskin), and this, by Larry Caldwell himself: University of California Defends Its “Right” to Propagate Pro-Evolution Religious Doctrine.

As if that weren’t enough, the Caldwell cause is also favored by that arch-creationist organ, WorldNetDaily: Like it or not, you pay for faith in evolution, which describes the plaintiff, Larry Caldwell’s wife, as:

… a mother whose children could be subjected to website indoctrination …

So there you are. The Caldwell case is alive again, at least for a while. It’s discretionary with the US Supreme Court whether they’ll accept this case. If they don’t, the earlier dismissal will stand. Stay tuned.

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2 responses to “The Caldwell Case — It’s Back!

  1. Isn’t the percentage of cases appealed to the Supreme Court that end up being considered very small to begin with?

  2. James, so it seems. Wikipedia has an article on Certiorari , {“the writ that an appellate court issues to a lower court in order to review its judgment for legal error and review, where no appeal is available as a matter of right”) which says:

    “The great majority of cases brought to the Supreme Court are denied certiorari (approximately 7,500 petitions are presented each year, but just 80 to 150 are typically granted), because the Supreme Court is generally careful to choose only cases in which it has jurisdiction and which it considers sufficiently important (especially cases involving deep constitutional questions) to merit the use of its limited resources.”