Many of you were hoping for a Kitzmas bonus in the form of a decision document in 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.
Our last post on this case was after the judge had told JPL-Caltech to write up a final decision document that rules against Coppedge on all counts, Coppedge had then filed a pleading demanding detailed explanations about 68 separate items, and then JPL said they were going to ignore Coppedge’s demands and write the decision document as the judge had requested. That was David Coppedge Decision: Getting Nasty.
Today, although nothing shows up yet at the court clerk’s docket or at the archive maintained by our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), located here: NCSE’s Coppedge archive, one of our clandestine operatives (who is so well-placed and valuable that he doesn’t even have a code name) informs us that eight — yes, eight! — documents were filed yesterday by Coppedge, including: (1) Request that the court take judicial notice of its final ruling on Coppedge’s motion for summary judgment back in Nov. 2011; (2) Objection to defendant’s proposed judgment (which only the litigants have seen) on the grounds that it fails to resolve controverted issues; (3) Detailed nitpicking about the proposed judgment’s characterization of various behaviors and opinions of Coppedge’s coworkers, etc.
Further, we are reliably informed that this new pile of pleadings totals about 250 pages. And we are told that one of these pleadings quotes from the long-awaited decision document JPL has drafted, but which hasn’t been seen yet. Thus we have a titillating preview of what awaits us. The quote from the unseen decision document says:
The Court finds that Coppedge failed to prove the existence of a causal nexus between any protected conduct and any alleged adverse employment action. Accordingly, Coppedge’s fourth cause of action for retaliation in violation of public policy fails and judgment on Coppedge’s public policy retaliation claim shall be entered in favor of Caltech.
Additionally we’re told that the decision document contains similar language for the sixth, seventh, eighth, and possibly other causes of action. The way we interpret this, if the final order comes out as JPL seems to have drafted it, it basically says that Coppedge got demoted and then laid off for good and valid reasons having nothing to do with his intelligent design mumbo-jumbo, and therefore there was no religious (or other) discrimination.
When this Ark-load of new material appears in the NCSE archive we’ll look it over, and if there is anything particularly amusing there we’ll let you know. Whatever is currently going on, it will have to be resolved before the final judgment document is signed. That means, dear reader, we won’t have a conclusion to the Coppedge case for Kitzmas.
The way it looks to us, as Coppedge slides down that high and steep cliff to oblivion, he’s going to leave fingernail scratches all the way down.
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