At last, dear reader,the court has signaled its decision in the trial of the suit filed by David Coppedge, the creationist who claims he was wrongfully demoted and later fired by his employer because he was promoting Intelligent Design (ID) on the job. As you recall, he used to work as a computer technician for Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is part of Caltech. He also maintains a creationist website:Creation-Evolution Headlines — which was recently moved here.
The trial ended on 16 April, which was six and a half months ago. The decision has been a long time coming, and it’s been a long time since we gave you any background information, so we’ll repeat some of our older material here. Most of you can skip the next few indented paragraphs:
This is a big case for the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids). They’re trying to establish some new kind constitutional right — an employee’s freedom to promote creationism in the workplace. One of their top legal talents, Discoveroid Casey Luskin, is advising the lawyer for Coppedge — that’s William J. Becker, Jr., who (until he picked up a few creationist clients) appears to be mostly a personal injury and workers’ comp lawyer.
To promote the issue, the Discoveroids initially waged a public relations campaign which we described here: The Coppedge Case: A Study in Tactics and Strategy. They’ve set up a page devoted to this case, which is here. That page has sometimes languished for months, but now it has links to a lot of pro-Coppedge material.
The official information source for the Coppedge case requires payment of fees to obtain copies of pleadings from the court clerks here: Superior Court of California, Los Angeles. At the box for “Case Number” you need to enter BC435600. Some minimal information is available for free — the names of the parties and their lawyers, a list of what documents have been filed, what proceedings have been held, and what future hearings have been scheduled. The trial’s over, so that’s all moot now.
The court’s latest order isn’t yet posted in the archive maintained by our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), located here: NCSE’s Coppedge archive. They’ve paid all the court’s fees to obtain those pleadings, which are scans of pdf files. As soon as they have the latest order, we’ll give you a link, and perhaps an excerpt or two.
[Addendum: NCSE has the ruling HERE. Note that it’s dated 31 October, which is Halloween.]
It says that the judge has decided to rule against Coppedge, and he’s ordered the lawyers (presumably the JPL lawyers) to draft a final order within 30 days. None of the lawyers has made any comment to the press.
That’s all we’ve got at the moment. When we learn more we’ll let you know.
Addendum: Here’s Westie’s link to a court clerk’s memo about the judge’s order, which is very brief. The operative part says: “Th [sic] court would enter judgment in favor of the Defendants on all causes of action.” That means it’s a clean sweep — nothing for the alleged wrongful demotion or the later dismissal.
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