Oh No — Casey and Kitzmiller Again!

Edmund Ruffin

Edmund Ruffin

For the last ten years, Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist, has been waging a weird, other-worldly war on the decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, which was handed down on 20 December 2005 by Judge John E. Jones III.

Casey has written numerous blog articles for the Discovery Institute giving his reasons why the decision was all wrong, and we usually post about them because stuff like that is always good for a laugh. The most recent occasion was Casey and Kitzmiller — One More Time. Our favorite description of Casey’s behavior was here: Discovery Institute: The Die-Hards, where we said:

Most of us can recover from setbacks, even major ones, and somehow carry on; but there are always a few resolutely single-minded souls who are are incapable of putting their losses behind them and adjusting to the new state of affairs. They live out their days in bitterness, convinced that the wrong side won. They endlessly recite their failed arguments, defend their losing tactics, and curse the victors. They remain utterly inflexible, unable to see any merit in the other side or any fault in their own.

The most extreme example of a die-hard is Edmund Ruffin, pictured above this post. According to Wikipedia:

Ruffin was credited as “firing the first shot of the war” at the Battle of Fort Sumter; he served as a Confederate soldier despite his advanced age. When the war ended in Southern defeat in 1865, he committed suicide rather than submit to “Yankee rule.”

[…]

[A]fter the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in 1865, Ruffin … went up to his study with a rifle and a forked stick. … [His] final diary entry said: “And now with my latest writing and utterance, and with what will [be] near to my latest breath, I here repeat, & would willingly proclaim, my unmitigated hatred to Yankee rule — to all political, social and business connections with Yankees, & to the perfidious, malignant, & vile Yankee race.” Ruffin put the rifle muzzle in his mouth and used the forked stick to manipulate the trigger.

Although not as fanatical as Ruffin, Casey is at it again. His latest at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is Ten Years After the Dover Case, Judge Jones Misunderstands His Critics. It’s very long and tortuous to read, and we don’t know why he wrote the thing. It’s essentially about Jones’ reliance on the Lemon test which both sides agreed controlled the case. The opinion says:

The parties are in agreement that an applicable test in the case sub judice to ascertain whether the challenged ID Policy is unconstitutional under the First Amendment is that of Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971), (hereinafter “the Lemon test”).

Casey reluctantly agrees that Lemon should have been used, and it invalidated the policy of Dover’s creationist school board. This is the first time we’ve seen a Discoveroid admission that the case was a dead loser. Then Casey argues — at length — that Judge Jones didn’t use Lemon properly. Does anyone care? Anyway, he says, with bold font added by us:

Judge Jones properly found clear evidence that the Dover Area School Board acted with a religious purpose, and that religious purpose was enough to invalidate Dover’s ID policy under the “purpose” prong. … Judge Jones should have stopped his Lemon analysis right there. But he didn’t. Instead, he went into an extensive inquiry on the general question of whether teaching ID violates the “effect” prong under other circumstances (even where there might have been a legitimate secular purpose for a policy).

Casey’s argument is very long and very complicated. We’ve read it, but we’re not going to bother picking it apart because: (a) the case is over, so Casey’s analysis doesn’t matter; and (b) Casey’s view of things is unlikely to persuade any other judge in some future case.

If you want to spend time reading Casey’s article, go ahead. If you do, and can figure out what he’s really trying to say, please let us know.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

12 responses to “Oh No — Casey and Kitzmiller Again!

  1. Derek Freyberg

    Casey is trying to argue that teaching ID would not fail the Lemon test if the Dover school board had not been as clearly stupid and religiously motivated as the case showed them to be: that if some “sane”, not obviously religiously motivated, school board somewhere decided that ID was a respectable scientific theory (I realize that this conflicts with “sane”, but bear with me on this), then teaching ID would be OK.
    His thesis is that Judge Jones didn’t need to get into the third prong of Lemon once he had already decided that teaching ID violated the second prong: Judge Jones was wrong not because of his decision on the second prong but because he unnecessarily addressed the third prong. Perhaps Judge Jones didn’t need to address the third prong (I am a lawyer, but this is not my field), but I think that it was reasonable to do so – if the case had gone to appeal on the second prong only and the appeal court had held against Judge Jones, the case would have to have been remanded to Judge Jones to consider the third prong; so what Judge Jones’s decision did was to set the case up so that an appeal court could either affirm (if it agreed on either the second or third prong) or reverse (if it disagreed on both) without having to consider remand.
    His real beef is, however, that by addressing the third prong, Judge Jones explicitly found that ID was not science but creationism in poor disguise, making it impossible for that “‘sane’, not obviously religiously motivated, school board somewhere” of my first paragraph to permit the teaching of ID.
    Sorry, Casey, it didn’t work out that way.

  2. I think that what Casey is really saying is “It’s my job to write ‘something, something, something, therefore ID’. This is that. Please excuse me while I deposit this month’s paycheck.”

  3. michaelfugate

    The Discovery Institute is religiously motivated and would not be advocating intelligent design and human exceptionalism if it were not. Stephen Meyer would not have written “Signature in the Cell” and “Darwin’s Doubt” if he were not religiously motivated.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    My memory of a die-hard that immediately comes to mind is Tom Hanks one-episode arrival on Happy Days to challenge the Fonz for some wrong he did years ago. Hanks comes out ready to fight like he expected Fonz had spent the same time preparing and hoping for a rematch. Hanks’ character was quite deflated when Fonz didn’t even recognize him.

  5. I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that Justice Scalia would like to overturn the Lemon test. Any judge who wants write a decision which would be Scalia-proof is going to take that into account.
    Anyway, I thought that both sides in the Kitzmiller case wanted the judge to rule on whether ID was science. Didn’t the DI expect that they would be vindicated?

  6. Tom S, that’s an Interesting question. If they truly thought they would be vindicated, they aren’t the big tent carnies they appear to be. I was giving them some credit for being able to con people out of their life savings. If they actually believe what their peddling, I just feel sad for them.

  7. When Casey does shoot himself it’ll be with one of those bow and air sets with the suction cups instead of sharp points. For some reason I picture him doing it while wearing an Elmer Fudd costume.

  8. Casey Fudd: Shhhhhh, I’m hunting Cambwian wabbits. Heh-heh-heh-heh!

  9. I’m only a first year law student so I can’t offer the nuance that Derek did, but Casey’s argument to me seems to be:

    Judge Jones didn’t quit dismantling ID when he could. He kept piling it on! That isn’t fair!

  10. Derek Freyberg

    @Reflectory:
    I think you got it right, in far fewer words than I did. Congratulations!
    Derek

  11. Derek Freyberg

    And I should have added “Nuance, h*ll”.

  12. Judge Jones properly found clear evidence that the Dover Area School Board acted with a religious purpose, and that religious purpose was enough to invalidate Dover’s ID policy under the “purpose” prong. … Judge Jones should have stopped his Lemon analysis right there. But he didn’t. Instead, he went into an extensive inquiry on the general question of whether teaching ID violates the “effect” prong under other circumstances (even where there might have been a legitimate secular purpose for a policy).

    Such as what, exactly?

    Surely not to “balance” science education by “teaching the controversy,” since it’s painfully obvious that no “balance” was intended–only shoehorning the Bible into science classes at taxpayers’ expense–and that there is no “controversy” among legitimate scientists.