No one other than your Curmudgeon seems to be following the John Oller litigation, so our only source of information comes from our vast network of clandestine operatives. Our last post on this topic was in April: John Oller Loses His Appeal — Maybe.
The next indented paragraph provides background information, which most of you can skip:
In late December of 2011, John Oller filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he was (and apparently still is) a professor. The complaint alleged that faculty members of the university’s Communicative Disorders Department discriminated against him and marginalized his position because of his belief in creationism, and also because he taught about an alleged connection between autism, mercury and vaccinations.
The last we heard, back in April, the federal appeals court had affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of Oller’s case. We were left wondering if he would ask for an en banc review of what was probably the decision of a three-judge panel. That means requesting the entire appellate bench for that circuit to take another look at his appeal. Such requests are rarely successful. Failing in that, Oller’s only recourse would be to try to convince the US Supreme Court to hear his appeal.
However, when his federal suit was first dismissed back in September, Oller had filed a state court case against the University, but we’ve never seen any press coverage of that. Only one of our operatives has kept us informed. The last we heard about that case was that summary judgment motions were pending which could dispose of some issues, but the state court case was a long way from trial.
That’s all we knew — until now. We have just learned of some new developments from our operative, whose code name is Deep Trachea. We’ve been provided with a copy of the federal court’s ruling on Oller’s motion for rehearing and for an en bank hearing. It’s not posted on the internet, so we’ll tell you what it says:
PER CURIAM [that means it’s by the whole court]: The Petition for Rehearing is DENIED, and no member of this panel nor judge in regular active service on the court having requested that the court be polled on Rehearing En Banc, the Petition for Rehearing En Banc is DENIED.
That order was signed back in May, so unless Oller is trying to get the US Supreme Court interested in his case, it’s over. We searched the Supreme Court’s docket and didn’t find Oller’s name, so the federal aspect of the case is finished. But then there’s Oller’s related case in the state court, which is still ongoing. Our operative informs us:
The [defense] lawyers filed to have the [defamation] case against one [defendant] dismissed as the communications concerned were protected under privileged communication. Just a week or so ago, the court agreed and again awarded costs against Oller. The [defense] lawyers [are expected to] submit summary judgement requests for the remaining points gradually over the next few months. It is assumed that Oller will appeal each point that he loses.
So there you are. We again remind you that we’re relying entirely on our clandestine operative for information. If we didn’t have confidence in that source, we wouldn’t be posting this, but — except for copies of the federal court documents that have been sent to us — what we’ve reported here hasn’t been confirmed by any public sources, so you shouldn’t regard this as hard news.
One final point. The Discovery Institute, self-described champions of what they consider to be academic freedom, haven’t said a word about Oller’s lonely struggle. Why is that?
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