ID Activist’s Complaint Dismissed by California Federal District Court

Remember Larry Caldwell? I blogged him in July 2005, a few months after he announced plans to sue his children’s school:

California parent Larry Caldwell has filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against the Roseville Joint Union High School District and school officials alleging that his constitutional rights to free speech, equal protection and religious freedom were violated in the course of his year-long effort to improve the teaching of evolution in his district. “I tried to exercise my basic rights as a citizen to propose a new idea, and school officials responded by suspending normal procedures, publicly attacking my personal religious beliefs, and even threatening to sue me to stop me from speaking out,” reported Caldwell. “These are tactics you’d expect in a banana republic, not the state of California.”…

Inevitably, the cause was picked up by WorldNetDaily. Caldwell’s proposed “improvement” to the syllabus was a video of Jonathan Wells’ Icons of Evolution and materials by Cornelius Hunter, whose book Darwin’s God argues that Darwin’s theories were derived from his religious needs. By focusing solely on these critiques, Caldwell could claim that he was not seeking to promote intelligent design or other forms of Creationism, and (somewhat to my surprise) both he and Hunter left irritated comments on this blog when I explored the religious context to their campaign.

Two-and-a-half years later, however, the courts have rejected Caldwell’s claims of persecution. For some reason, the Discovery Institute, which gave publicity to the case and posted online relevant documents, has not yet updated its site with the denouement; Religion Cause, however, has the details:

In Caldwell v. Roseville Joint Union High School District, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66318 (ED CA, Sept. 7, 2007), a California federal district court dismissed claims by intelligent design activist Larry Caldwell that he was unconstitutionally denied access to various forums to promote his “Quality Science Education” proposals…In granting summary judgment to the school district, the court emphasized that “this case is not about whether a theory of intelligent design can or should be included in the science curriculum…. Rather, this case is about whether Larry Caldwell was denied access to speak in various fora or participate in certain processes because of his actual or perceived religious beliefs.”

Caldwell’s “Quality Science Education for All” website is now “Currently Under Re-Construction”.

UPDATE: Ed Brayton has more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.