We wrongly thought this case was over back in January when we posted ACSI v. Stearns: Creationists Lose Again. But we didn’t realize that after losing their appeal, the creationists had petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the case.
Now we learn from our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), where they have an entire page at their website devoted to an archive of the court pleadings in this case (ACSI et al. v. Stearns et al.), that the case wasn’t dead after all. Until now.
The NCSE has just posted this news item: The end of ACSI v. Stearns. They say, with bold added by us:
On October 12, 2010, the Supreme Court declined … to review Association of Christian Schools International et al. v. Roman Stearns et al, thus bringing the case to a definitive end.
As we said in our earlier post:
The case involves the Association of Christian Schools International and a few other plaintiffs who sued the University of California system over UC’s refusal to recognize various high school level creationist courses taught by homeschoolers and some private schools, when UC is evaluating the qualifications of applicants for admission.
That could be important for some other cases we’re watching. It’s the same kind of argument being made in the “Darwin’s Dilemma” Lawsuit. The creationists there are also alleging a First Amendment violation because of “viewpoint discrimination.”
However, the “Darwin’s Dilemma” Lawsuit was filed in a California state court, so if it goes all the way to an appeal, it won’t go to the Ninth Circuit [that decided ACSI v. Stearns], which hears only federal cases. Nevertheless, the “Darwin’s Dilemma” case involves some of the same constitutional issues. Courts pay attention to precedents from other jurisdictions, even if they aren’t technically binding.
Let’s read on in NCSE’s new article:
Creationism was prominent in the case. The plaintiffs objected to the university system’s policy of rejecting high school biology courses that use creationist textbooks as “inconsistent with the viewpoints and knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community.”
Needless to say, the Supreme Court didn’t actually rule on this case, or on the issue of viewpoint discrimination (VD) against creationism. But by refusing to accept the case, they’re letting the existing decision stand. One could guess that they’re not terribly troubled by the university’s insistence on the scientific viewpoint for science courses. But — gasp — that’s viewpoint discrimination!
Everything’s fine with us, but we suspect there are some unhappy creationists wandering around in a certain Seattle “think tank.”
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