Kitzmiller Decision: Plaintiffs Prevail

From: Janice Matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue Dec 20 2005 - 11:48:28 EST

Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District

Legal documents, trial materials, updates

<http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp/?p=98>Kitzmiller Decision: Plaintiffs Prevail

December 20, 2005
http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp/?p=98

The much-awaited
<http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp//kvd/main_docs/kitzmiller_342.pdf>decision
in the Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District is now available.

The 139 page document finds for the plaintiffs.

Judge Jones finds that “intelligent design” is
not science. The DASD ID policy violates both
purpose and effect prongs of the Lemon test, and
also violates the Pennsylvania constitution.

 From the conclusion:

The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts
of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the
Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the
seminal question of whether ID is science. We
have concluded that it is not, and
moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its
creationist, and thus religious,
antecedents.
Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock
assumption which is utterly false. Their
presupposition is that evolutionary theory
is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a
supreme being and to religion in
general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’
scientific experts testified that the
theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the
scientific community, and that it in no way
conflicts with, nor does it deny, the
existence of a divine creator.
To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact
Case 4:04-cv-02688-JEJ Document 342 Filed 12/20/2005 Page 136 of 139

137
that a scientific theory cannot yet render an
explanation on every point should not
be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in
religion into the science classroom or to
misrepresent well-established scientific
propositions.
The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the
Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic
that several of these individuals,
who so staunchly and proudly touted their
religious convictions in public, would
time and again lie to cover their tracks and
disguise the real purpose behind the ID
Policy.
With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID
have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which
drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor
do we controvert that ID should continue to be
studied, debated, and discussed. As
stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an
alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.
Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an
activist judge. If so, they will have erred as
this is manifestly not an activist Court.
Rather, this case came to us as the result of the
activism of an ill-informed faction
on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a
constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an
Case 4:04-cv-02688-JEJ Document 342 Filed 12/20/2005 Page 137 of 139

138
imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy.
The breathtaking inanity of the
Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which
has now been fully revealed through this trial.
The students, parents, and teachers
of the Dover Area School District deserved better
than to be dragged into this legal
maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.
To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,
and Art. I, 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will enter an order
permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school
within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or
disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and
from requiring teachers to refer to
a religious, alternative theory known as ID. We will also issue a declaratory
judgment that Plaintiffs’ rights under the
Constitutions of the United States and the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been violated by Defendants’ actions.
Defendants’ actions in violation of Plaintiffs’
civil rights as guaranteed to them by
the Constitution of the United States and 42
U.S.C. 1983 subject Defendants to
liability with respect to injunctive and
declaratory relief, but also for nominal
damages and the reasonable value of Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ services and costs
incurred in vindicating Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT:
1. A declaratory judgment is hereby issued in favor of Plaintiffs pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. 2201, 2202, and 42 U.S.C. 1983 such that
Defendants’ ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause of the First
Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and Art. I, 3 of
the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
2. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 65, Defendants are permanently enjoined
from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area
School District.
3. Because Plaintiffs seek nominal damages, Plaintiffs shall file with the
Court and serve on Defendants, their claim for damages and a verified
statement of any fees and/or costs to which they claim entitlement.
Defendants shall have the right to object to any such fees and costs to
the extent provided in the applicable statutes and court rules.

s/John E. Jones III
John E. Jones III
United States District Judge

by Administrator @ 8:55 am. Filed under
<http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp/?cat=2>News
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Received on Tue Dec 20 11:49:35 2005

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