Dover Area School District policy requiring the teaching of intelligent design. Dover Decision ( KB pdf); Kitzmiller Plaintiff’s Brief ( “Intelligent Design” is a religious view, not a scientific theory, according to U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III in his historic decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover. en español In the legal case Kitzmiller v. Dover, tried in in a Harrisburg, PA, Federal District Court, “intelligent design” was found Decision in Kitzmiller v.
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Bush, made a very strong ruling against intelligent design. He ruled that it is creationism and is not science.
Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
He also ruled that members of Dover’s school board lied under oath to hide their religious motivations. This archive also hosts transcripts of the trial. See the Dover index page. Origins of Life is not taught. On November 19,the Defendant Dover Area School District announced by press release that, kihzmiller in Januaryteachers would be required to read the following statement to students in the ninth grade biology class at Dover High School:.
The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part. Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact.
Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.
Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves.
With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life to individual students and their families. As a Standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on Standards-based assessments.
On December 14,Plaintiffs filed the instant suit challenging the constitutional validity of the October 18, resolution and November 19, press release collectively, “the ID Policy”. It is contended that the ID Policy constitutes an establishment of religion prohibited by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief, nominal damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees. This Court’s jurisdiction arises under 28 U. In addition, the power to issue declaratory judgments is expressed in 28 U.
This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ cause of action arising under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pursuant to 28 U.
Venue is proper in this District under 28 U. We will now introduce the individual Plaintiffs and provide information regarding their acquaintance with the biology curriculum controversy.
Bryan and Christy Rehm, residents of Dover, Pennsylvania are parents of a child in the eighth grade, a child in the second grade, a child in kindergarden in the Dover Area School District, and a child of pre-school age. They intend for their children to attend Dover High School. Bryan Rehm learned of the biology curriculum controversy by virtue of being a member of the science faculty at Dover Area High School. Before and after his resignation, he regularly attended Board meetings.
His wife, fellow Plaintiff Christy Rehm learned of the biology curriculum controversy by virtue of discussions she had with her husband and also regularly attended Board meetings in Fenimore and Joel A. Leib, residents of Dover, Pennsylvania are the parents of a child in the twelfth grade at Dover High School and a child in the seventh grade in the Dover Area School District.
They intend for their seventh grade child to attend Dover High School. Leib first learned of a change in the biology curriculum by reading local newspapers. Stough did not attend any Board meetings until December and prior to that, he had learned of the biology curriculum change by reading the local newspapers.
Eveland, resident of York, Pennsylvania is a parent of a child in the first grade in the Dover Area School District and a child of pre-school age who intends for her children to attend Dover High School. Eveland attended her first Board meeting on June 14, Prior to that, she had learned of the issues relating to the purchase of the biology books kitzmuller reading the York Daily Record newspaper. Cynthia Sneath, resident of Dover, Pennsylvania is a parent of a child in the first grade in the Dover Area School District and a child of pre-school age who intends for her children to attend Dover High School.
Sneath attended her first Board meeting on October 18, and prior to that, she had learned of the biology curriculum controversy from reading the local newspapers. Smith did not attend a Board meeting in ; she learned of and followed the biology curriculum controversy dovver reading the local newspapers.
Aralene hereinafter “Barrie” Callahan and Frederick B. Callahan, residents of Dover, Pennsylvania are parents of a child in the tenth grade at Dover High School. Barrie Callahan learned of the biology curriculum controversy by virtue of her status of a former Board member and from attending Board meetings. Fred Callahan learned of the biology curriculum controversy based upon dpver with his wife Barrie and from attending Board meetings.
The trial commenced September 26, and continued through November 4, This Memorandum Opinion constitutes the Court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law which are based upon the Court’s review of the evidence presented at trial, the testimony of the witnesses at trial, the parties’ proposed findings of fact and conclusions of kjtzmiller with supporting briefs, other documents deciskon evidence in the record, and applicable law.
As we will review the federal jurisprudential legal landscape in detail below, we will accordingly render only an abbreviated summary of that terrain by way of an introduction at this juncture. The religious movement known as Fundamentalism began in nineteenth century America as a response to kitzniller changes, new religious thought and Darwinism.
Religiously motivated groups pushed state legislatures to adopt laws prohibiting public schools from teaching evolution, culminating in the Scopes “monkey trial” of McLeanF.
StateTenn. Ina radical change occurred in the legal landscape when in Epperson v. ArkansasU. Religious proponents of evolution thereafter championed “balanced treatment” statutes requiring public-school teachers who taught evolution to devote equal time to teaching the biblical view of creation; kitzmilldr, courts realized this tactic to be another attempt to establish the Biblical version of the decsiion of man.
WatersF. Fundamentalist opponents of evolution responded with a new tactic suggested by Daniel ‘s reasoning which was ultimately found to be unconstitutional under the First Amendment, namely, to utilize scientific-sounding language to describe religious beliefs and then to require that schools teach the resulting “creation science” or “scientific creationism” as an alternative to evolution.
The import of Edwards is that the Supreme Court turned the proscription against teaching creation science c the public school system into a national prohibition. Having briefly touched upon the salient legal framework, it is evident that as kkitzmiller cases and kitzmilller have evolved over time, so too fecision the methodology that courts employ in evaluating Establishment Clause claims.
We initially observe that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of decisiob United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
The prohibition against the establishment of religion applies to the states dver the Fourteenth Amendment. Allegheny CountyF. JaffreeU. 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. KurtzmanU. See EdwardsU. Defendants, however, object to using the endorsement test, first arguing jitzmiller it applies only to religious-display kitzmiiller and most recently asserting that it applies to limited Establishment Clause cases, including a policy or practice in question that involves: After a searching review of Supreme Court and Third Circuit Court of Appeals precedent, it is apparent to this Court that both the endorsement test and the Lemon test should be employed in this case to analyze the constitutionality of the ID Policy under the Establishment Clause, for the reasons that follow.
Since a majority of the Supreme Court first implemented the endorsement test in County of Allegheny v. ACLUU. In Santa Fe Independent Sch. DoeU. In Santa Fethe Supreme Court clearly defined the endorsement test by dceision that “[i]n cases involving state participation in a religious activity, one of the relevant questions is ‘whether an objective observer, acquainted with the text, legislative history, and implementation of the statute, vv perceive it as a state endorsement of prayer in public schools.
The Supreme Court then provided a more concrete explanation of how the test functions in the public-school context, explaining that:.
School sponsorship of a religious message is impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to members of the audience who are nonadherents ‘that they are outsiders, not full members of the political dofer, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.
Kitzmiller v. Dover decision
In Good News Club v. HelmsU. FeltonU. Defendants maintain that this Court should not apply the endorsement test to the challenged ID Policy because the Supreme Court did not apply the test to the creationism decjsion at issue in Epperson and Edwards. As Plaintiffs aptly state however, Epperson was decided infive years before Lemonand accordingly nearly two decades before Justice O’ Connor first began to articulate the endorsement test as a way to conceptualize Lemon.
In addition, doverr only did Edwards likewise pre-date the test’s adoption in Alleghenybut contrary to Kitzmillef assertion, the Supreme C ourt did invoke at least the endorsement concept in that case.
Moreover, it is notable that Edwards was a “purpose” case, so it would have been unnecessary for the Supreme Court to delve into a full-scale endorsement analysis even had the test existed at the time, as the test is most closely associated with Lemon ‘s “effect” prong, rather than its “purpose” prong.
A review of the above cited Supreme Court cases reveals that none of them involve a challenge to a religious display, yet in each such case, the Supreme Court reviewed the challenged governmental conduct to ascertain whether it constituted religious endorsement. Additionally, in each cited decission, the Supreme Court reviewed a public school district’s, or public university’s, policy touching on religion.
It is readily apparent to this Court that based upon Supreme Court precedent, the endorsement test must be utilized by us in our resolution of this case. Applicable Third Circuit Court of Appeals precedent regarding application of the endorsement test to cases involving public school policies confirms our conclusion regarding its applicability to the instant dispute.
In Child Evangelism Fellowship v. Also, in ACLU v. Black Horse Pike Reg’l Bd. In Black Horse Pikethe Third Circuit clearly stated that its duty was to “determine whether, under the totality of the circumstances, the challenged practice conveys a message favoring or disfavoring religion.
Our next task is to determine how to apply both the endorsement test and the Lemon test to the ID Policy. We are in agreement with Plaintiffs that the better practice is to treat the endorsement inquiry as a distinct test to be applied separately from, and prior to, the Lemon test.
In recent Third Circuit cases, specifically, Freethought Society v. Chester CountyF. The Third Circuit conducted the endorsement inquiry first and subsequently measured the challenged conduct against Lemon ‘s “purpose” ,itzmiller “effect” standards. We will therefore initially analyze the constitutionality of the ID Policy under the endorsement test and will then proceed to the Lemon test as it applies to this case.
The endorsement test recognizes that when government transgresses the limits of neutrality and acts in ways that show religious favoritism or sponsorship, it violates the Establishment Clause.