Creationist Litigation Update: 29 Nov 2013

Not much has been happening in the few remaining court cases we’ve been following (Freshwater, Oller, and that thing in Kansas), so we’ll discuss them all in this one post.

Freshwater Case

Things have been quiet in the Freshwater suit, about which see John Freshwater Loses in Ohio Supreme Court. Since then his lawyers have filed a motion with the Ohio Supreme Court to reconsider their decision, but that’s expected to go nowhere, so we’re not paying attention. Richard B. Hoppe has a thread on it over at Panda’s Thumb: Motion for reconsideration filed.

John Oller Case

Our last post on the federal civil-rights lawsuit John Oller filed against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was John Oller Litigation Update — 18 Nov 2013. You can see the court’s docket here: Oller v. Roussel et al, but most of the pleadings can’t be read without a subscription.

At the time of our last update, an amended complaint had been filed, and the trial was delayed until 19 May 2014 — see Minute Entry. More has been filed since our last update, most of it stuff like exhibits and memoranda, but among the new pleadings that we can read is Oller’s Motion for Summary Judgment, which includes his response to an earlier motion for Summary Judgment filed by the Defendants.

It’s only one paragraph long. Both parties claim that there are no uncontested facts, and therefore the court should make a ruling as a matter of law — i.e., without a trial. That’s interesting, because if there are no uncontested facts (and both parties seem to agree on that), there may be no trial, just a court opinion.

After that, the Defendants filed their Answer to Oller’s Amended Complaint. It’s only 8 pages long. They admit some stuff (like Oller’s employment at the university) and deny some stuff, but there’s nothing of substance that’s new. They assert, in defense to Oller’s defamation claims, that whatever they said was true. We don’t know if this opens up a new set of contested facts that would make a trial necessary after all.

Among the last items filed, which we can’t read, is a Motion for Continuance. That was filed only last week, and we can’t tell which side filed it.

Kansas NGSS Case

The only other court case we’re following is the one in Kansas to bar the implementation of the evolution-friendly Next Generation Science Standards (the “NGSS”). That suit was filed in the US District Court’s Topeka office. Our last post about it was Kansas Creationism Lawsuit Update: 19 Oct 2013.

The plaintiff, with the Orwellian name of “Citizens for Objective Public Education, Inc.” (COPE), mentions the case at their website: COPE FILES LEGAL COMPLAINT.

NCSE is tracking it here: COPE v. Kansas State BOE, but so far all they have at their site is the complaint. If you’re looking for a good time, take a look at “Exhibit A,” starting on page 37 of the complaint. It’s a letter that COPE (one of the plaintiffs) wrote back in June 2012, listing their objections to what were then the proposed science standards. It’s an amazing catalog of creationist arguments — one of the best collections we’ve ever seen.

You can find links to a lot of 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.

Potential Cases

The case of Northern Ireland creationist David McConaghie, who has been accused of bathroom voyeurism — is still being probed. See Creationist Voyeurism: McConaghie Update.

Lastly, the Ball State Imbroglio is still smoldering, but we regard it as potentially explosive. Our last post on that one was Jo Ann Gora Will Resign.

There’s no other creationist court action that we’re aware of. It’s been a bad year for the creationists. May it always be so.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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3 responses to “Creationist Litigation Update: 29 Nov 2013

  1. with that terrible threat of future moves, you’d think they’d have filed suit at Ball State by now. Could it be that they KNOW they have no case? Could their powers of self-deception be letting them down?

  2. All quiet on the cistern front today, Curmy? 😉

  3. Ceteris Paribus

    COPE v. Kansas State BOE, Exhibit A, Comment 1, paragraph 2 [on page 2 of Exhibit A; page 37 of PDF document] ends with [bold added]:

    “Similarly, it [the NGSS document] will offend the rights of taxpayers who do not support the particular religious position being presented to students and classify them as outsiders within the community”

    Ah yes, the “rights of taxpayers” gambit. As a taxpayer myself I do have some sympathy to the plight of those sorely aggrieved creationist taxpayers.

    In particular I am, as a taxpayer, offended by the laws on the books of many states which support those with “particular religious positions” by the legal right to beat their children to death should one be found having a bad day possessed by Satan. And giving those parents the right to pray their “particular religious position” over a suffering and dying child rather than seeking proper medical attention.