Thursday, January 13, 2005

Judge Cooper gets it right

"ATLANTA (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday ordered a Georgia school district to remove stickers challenging the theory of evolution from its textbooks on the grounds that they violated the U.S. Constitution.

In a ruling issued in Atlanta, U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said Cobb County's school board had violated the constitutional ban on the separation of church and state when it put the disclaimers on biology books in 2002.

The stickers read: 'This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.'

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that creationism could not be taught in public schools alongside evolution.

The Georgia school board, which introduced the stickers at the behest of hundreds of parents, many of them religious conservatives, contended that the stickers only advised students to keep an open mind.

The board's lawyer was not immediately available for comment on Thursday."

This round goes to the reality-based community, although an appeal would belong to the Eleventh Circuit. The Eleventh is viewed as being, um, rather conservative, particularly since it is the temporary home of Bill Pryor, the Rightwing Nutball Deluxe that the Boy King put on the bench with a recess appointment last year. Pryor's up for reappointment this year; let's hope the Dems in the Senate grow some and send him back to Alabama.


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