The few currently-pending court cases of interest to us have been remarkably absent from the news, so this update won’t be terribly informative. It’s more of a reminder that we’re still watching these items. If any of you are aware of any developments that we’ve missed, please let us know. Here’s our case-by-case summary:
Our last update on this topic was Bryan College Litigation Update — 18 May 2014. The suit was filed by two tenured professors, Stephen Barnett and Steven DeGeorge, who lost their jobs at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, the site of the Scopes Trial. The college was named in honor of William Jennings Bryan.
The professors were fired because they refused to accept the college’s recent “clarification” of its statement of faith, which is now far more explicit about the special creation of Adam & Eve. The professors are suing the school to get their jobs back, and to have the “clarification” declared void, because the original statement of faith — which they accept — says it can’t be changed.
The last news was that the judge issued a temporary restraining order barring Bryan from hiring replacements for the two professors, although the college is allowed to continue advertising and interviewing for the posts. That restraining order will keep the positions unfilled until a June hearing on the matter. There’s been no news since then.
The last news about this never-ending idiocy was posted by Richard B. Hoppe a month ago over at Panda’s Thumb — see Freshwater: Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s where the matter sits, and we don’t yet know if the Supreme Court will accept the case.
Our last post on the federal civil-rights lawsuit that creationist professor John Oller filed against the 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. The case is still active, but it’s never in the news.
Since our last update, more pleadings have been filed, but most of it looks like routine discovery motions, exhibits and memoranda. The latest date set for the jury trial is 20 October 2014. Among the new pleadings that we can read is the court’s 05 May 2014 order denying the defendants’ motion for a continuance. It’s not worth looking at, because it’s just one page saying that the motion is denied. The last item is dated 03 June 2014. It’s a clerk’s notice setting a date for a hearing on the defendant’s motion for Summary Judgment. That hearing will be on 17 July.
This is that wild case filed in the US District Court’s Topeka office to bar the implementation of the evolution-friendly Next Generation Science Standards (the “NGSS”). Our last post about it was was Kansas Creationism Case: The State Strikes Back. NCSE is tracking it here: COPE v. Kansas State BOE. A related development, which we reported in February, is that Kansas Has a Bill To Repeal the NGSS. The bill is HB 2621, but the legislature adjourned without taking any action on it, so it’s dead — until next year, of course.
The expected prosecution of Northern Ireland creationist David McConaghie, who has been accused of bathroom voyeurism, is still stalled (so to speak) while the matter is being (ahem!) probed — see Creationist Voyeurism: McConaghie Update.
So there you are. It’s been an unexciting year for creationist litigation news, so far, but it’s not quite half over. The good news is that the creationists haven’t won anything. May it always be so.
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