West on the legal and ethical propriety of Judge Jones

| 333 Comments

On the Discovery Instute’s EvolutionNews blog site, West presents his 3rd part: Dover in Review, pt. 3: Did Judge Jones accurately describe the content and early versions of the ID textbook Of Pandas and People?

Timothy Sandefur has already shown in depth how West erred in his understanding of the legal rules guiding Intervention so I will focus on a comment made by West and show it to be without much legal merrit by looking at the Judge’s ruling on FTE’s (Foundation for Thought and Ethics) motion to intervene:

West Wrote:

Before addressing the merits of Judge Jones’ assertions regarding Pandas, something needs to be said about the legal and ethical propriety of Judge Jones placing so much weight on this early textbook in his judicial opinion. Frankly, it is astounding that Judge Jones treats Pandas as central to his decision given that he refused to grant the book’s publisher, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, permission to intervene in the case in order to defend itself.

First, for the sake of the reader and of West, let’s first look at Judge Jones legal decision to deny the FTE to intervene. After all, understanding the legal rules is essential in understanding (the legal propriety of) Judge Jones’ ruling.

First of all in his March 10, 2005 Order, the Judge outlined the requirements for intervention:

The Judge points out that there are two types of interventions under federal rules:

Judge Jones Wrote:

As FTE submits, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for two types of intervention: intervention as of right and permissive intervention. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 24. We will discuss the two types of intervention in turn.

So let’s first look at Intervention as of right

Intervention as of Right. Upon timely application anyone shall be permitted to intervene in an action: (2) when the applicant claims an interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action and the applicant is so situated that the disposition of the action may as a practicable matter impair or impede the applicant’s ability to protect that interest, unless the applicant’s interest is adequately represented by existing parties. Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a)

The Judge points out that under the rules of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, all of the following four tests need to be satisfied

the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has instructed that Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a) entitles an applicant to intervene if the applicant establishes that all prongs of the following four-part test are satisfied: (1) the application for intervention is timely; (2) the applicant has a sufficient interest in the litigation; (3) the interest may be affected or impaired, as a practical matter by the disposition of the action; and (4) the interest is not adequately represented by an existing party in the litigation.

The Judge found that the FTE failed the timeliness requirement

We are in agreement with the parties that the advanced stage of this litigation renders FTE’s application untimely as it will cause prejudice, delay, and added expense to the parties. In that regard, we conclude that application of the Mountain Top factors, which we previously delineated, to this case demonstrates that FTE’s Motion is untimely.

However, the judge still applies the additional three tests

Although the Applicant carries the burden of proving all four parts of the test under Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a) and has failed to do so with respect to the timeliness of intervention, in the exercise of completeness, we will analyze the remaining three prongs of the test in this narrative. See Alcan Aluminum, 25 F.3d at n.9; see

Again the Judge, in the exercise of completeness, considers all the relevant tests. Judge Jones’ ruling to deny FTE’s motion sets the standard for his thorough ruling in the Kitzmiller case.

The three other tests are

Interest in the litigation

We do not find that the scenario raised by FTE, specifically that if this Court should find IDT to be the equivalent of creation science, which will result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars to FTE, constitutes a “legal interest as distinguished from interests of a general and indefinite character.” Harris, 820 F.2d at 601; see also United States v. American Telephone and Telegraph Co., 642 F.2d 1285, 1292 (D.C. Cir. 1980).

and

In addition, we find that Applicant has not demonstrated a “tangible threat to a legally cognizable interest[.]” Harris, 820 F.2d at 601. Although FTE may be quite concerned with the outcome of the litigation in this case, the afore-mentioned concern does not rise to the level of a significantly protectable interest in the litigation warranting intervention as a party. Therefore, Applicant has not demonstrated an interest in the litigation to justify intervention as of right pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a).

Potential Impairment of the Interest

Once an applicant for intervention has established that he or she has a sufficient legal interest in the underlying dispute, the applicant must also show that the interest is in jeopardy in the lawsuit. Alcan Aluminum, 25 F.3d at 1181, n.9; see also Harris, 820 F.2d at 596. In making such a determination, the court is obligated to assess the “practicable consequences of the litigation,” and “may consider any significant legal effect on the applicants’ interest.” Id. at 601.

As we have previously determined that seeking to intervene, to prevent potentially significant economic loss from potential decline in books sales to public educational institutions, is not a cognizable interest in the litigation which warrants intervention as of right on the part of Applicant, it logically follows that we need not determine whether Applicant’s alleged interest as so expressed is placed in jeopardy by the case sub judice. Accordingly, the Applicant has failed to prove this part of the intervention as of right test.

and

Moreover, to the extent that the stare decisis effect of an order declaring intelligent design instruction to be unconstitutional in a public school might require FTE to redirect its marketing efforts, that indirect, remote, and attenuated effect fails to “impair” FTE’s interest.

Representation by Existing Party in Litigation

After careful consideration of the parties’ submissions and the record, including but not limited to the three typical reasons constituting inadequate representation as specified by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, we do not find that any interest alleged by Applicant is not being adequately represented by Defendants in this action for the additional reasons that follow. See Hoots, 672 F.2d 1135.

Having rejected intervention as of right, the court continues to examine “Applicant’s alternative argument that the Court grant their intervention application under Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b), which provides for permissive intervention”.

The Judge observes that:

Whether to grant permissive intervention is within the Court’s discretion, but in making this determination, courts consider whether the proposed intervenors will add anything to the litigation.

Additionally, if the interests of the proposed intervenors are already represented in the litigation, courts deny such application to intervene. Hoots, 672 F.2d at 1136.

Both the Dover School Board and the Plaintiffs were objecting to FTE’s intervention requests.

Both parties oppose permissive intervention. Plaintiffs submit that FTE’s defense would present a question of fact in common with that already asserted in the lawsuit, namely, whether intelligent design is fundamentally a religious proposition rather than a scientific one. Plaintiffs maintain that FTE will not add any defense to the instant case that Defendants have not already demonstrated that they will present. (Pls.’ Br. Opp. Mot. Intervene at 20). Likewise, Defendants oppose permissive intervention by FTE and argue that they adequately represent any generalized interest in IDT that is shared with FTE. (Defs.’ Br. Opp. Mot. Intervene at 5).

West observed that “something needs to be said about the legal and ethical propriety of Judge Jones placing so much weight on this early textbook in his judicial opinion”. Given the legal history, it should be clear that the Judge acted within legal guidelines and rules. Again, it seems to me that West could have saved himself much embarassment if he had familiarized himself with the legal history. West may disagree with the legal rulings, especially since the ruling disagree so much with the Discovery Institute’s position, but to call into question the legal and ethical propriety of the Judge without showing any familiarity with the legal landscape seems rather peculiar to me.

Finally, West seems to make a big deal about the judge limiting the FTE’s Amicus Brief submission to 5000 words. West seems to be unfamiliar with the Local Rules of the Court, especially rule LR 7.8 Contents and Length of Pretrial Briefs.

(1) Unless the requirements of Local Rule 7.8 (b)(2) and (3) are met, no brief shall exceed fifteen (15) pages in length. (2) A brief may exceed fifteen (15) pages so long as it does not exceed 5,000 words.(3) No brief exceeding the limits described in this rule may be filed without prior authorization. Any motion seeking such authorization shall specify the length of the brief requested and shall be filed at least two (2) working days before the brief is due.

Again, Judge Jones is following the local rules of the Court. This rule applies equally to all parties involved. Did the FTE even file a motion to exceed the length limits? I have found no record of this in the Amicus Filings.

In fact, in ruling on the filings of the DI Amicus brief, the Judge showed significant judicial restraint

Despite the fact that amici failed to formally request leave of Court before filing the submissions, we will review them absent the request of formal leave as we do not find it necessary to elevate form over substance.1

1 We do note however, that the better practice is that a motion seeking leave of Court to file an amicus brief should be filed concurrently with any future amici submissions.

Legal History The rich legal history of the FTE intervention shows that questioning the Judge’s legal propriety in this case seems a hard one to actually support. I have yet to locate the Defendants’ oppostion to FTE’s motion to intervene. Any hints would be welcome.

333 Comments

I found the Defendants’ memorandum of law in Opposition to FTE dated 2005-06-06. It is clear that even the defendants did not consider FTE’s intervention supportable by law.

Kudos to the team of Pim and Tim. West’s diatribe would be good for laughs if West and Co were not so deadly serious.

Indeed, lest we forget the “vice strategy”, as proposed by Dembski et. al.

laughable, unless it becomes reality. Then we’d all be pretty screwed.

NEVER forget the motivations of these folks. They are psychologically unbalanced and are capable of anything when pressured.

When I think of John West I get an image of Yosimite Sam with steam shooting out his ears.

“RackafrazzinJudgegrumblemublesTarnation…”

lol

Something’s been bugging me for a while now.

The creationists on the Dover School Board wrote a policy.

That policy was ruled illegal upon application of the Lemon test.

So where are all the funny graphics of “Of Pandas And People” proclaiming that “it’s a Lemon!”? Come on, the people need humour dammit!

”…if this Court should find IDT to be the equivalent of creation science, which will result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars to FTE…”

but wait, I’m confused … dembski’s latest opinion is that this ruling will have no impact on the ID movement apart from galvanizing its supporters…

I have a theory. My theory (which, incidentally, is mine) is that John West is an idiot. It is, however, just a theory

I have a theory. My theory (which, incidentally, is mine) is that John West is an idiot. It is, however, just a theory

Well, is your theory of West’s Idiotness actually a theory OF West’s Idiotness, or is it just a scientific argument AGAINST his Non-Idiotness.

It would seem that DI thinks there’s some sort of difference between the two …

oh, btw, since Dembski mentioned his “main site” is designinference.com… what do we see as the most recent link there but:

The Vise Strategy: Squeezing the Truth out of Darwinists.

nuff said.

these folks wish violence done to the non-believers. need i say more?

Please note that West’s observation was made with the benefit of hindsight. Had the defendants foreseen the emphasis that the judge’s opinion would place on the Panda book, they might very well have supported the publisher’s request to intervene.

I now see Judge Jones as a heavy-handed activist judge. Here are some of the things he did –

(1) He appointed himself to be the sole final judge of the scientific merits of irreducible complexity.

(2) In violation of attorney-client privilege, he quoted a private communication between the school board and the school board’s Solicitor and used it against the defendants.(pages 111-112 of opinion)

(3) He essentially barred the school board from ever requiring that any criticism of evolution theory be taught or discussed in the Dover Area schools.

Comment #65500 Posted by snaxalotl on December 28, 2005 07:46 PM

“…if this Court should find IDT to be the equivalent of creation science, which will result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars to FTE…”

but wait, I’m confused … dembski’s latest opinion is that this ruling will have no impact on the ID movement apart from galvanizing its supporters…

Good grief – I cannot believe the asininity of some of the messages on this website.

Had the publisher been allowed to intervene, it might have persuaded the judge to show the Panda book in a more favorable – or less unfavorable – light.

As it is, the book and the publisher were tried and convicted in absentia.

Judge Jones is well on his way to becoming the most notorious judge in America. His statement “I am not an activist judge” will probably take a place in history alongside Nixon’s “I am not a crook” and Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman.”

Had the publisher been allowed to intervene, it might have persuaded the judge to show the Panda book in a more favorable — or less unfavorable — light.

As it is, the book and the publisher were tried and convicted in absentia.

Read the Judge’s decision to deny FTE’s motion for intervention before you make such ‘silly’ comments. An understanding of the law is a pre-requisite for trying to argue against a Judge’s ruling. You same to lack even the most basic understanding on the rules guiding intervention.

Although the Judge denied the motion for intervention, he did grant the FTE status of Amicus Curiae.

But Larry does not stop here, he decides to go all out for the most mistakes in a single posting

1) He appointed himself to be the sole final judge of the scientific merits of irreducible complexity.

Nope, he did not and I encourage you to support your claim

(2) In violation of attorney-client privilege, he quoted a private communication between the school board and the school board’s Solicitor and used it against the defendants.(pages 111-112 of opinion)

No he did not. The client provided the information voluntarily. Have you learned nothing from our interchange on this topic? Do you even understand client attorney privilege and how it applies or how it is invoked?

(3) He essentially barred the school board from ever requiring that any criticism of evolution theory be taught or discussed in the Dover Area schools.

Again, no he didn’t.

So many errors. Man, Larry, it’s time to do your homework

Not bad Larry, at least you got something right: “I cannot believe the asininity of some of the messages on this website.”

And I forgot the following:

Please note that West’s observation was made with the benefit of hindsight. Had the defendants foreseen the emphasis that the judge’s opinion would place on the Panda book, they might very well have supported the publisher’s request to intervene.

Have you read the defendants’ response to FTE’s motion to intervene?

First, the interests FTE seeks to protect are remote and speculative at best and defendants adequately represent the sort of abstract and generalized interests in Intelligent Design Theory (IDT) FTE claims as its own. Second, the motives, activities and utterances of FTE have no bearing on the defendants’ motion to make students aware of IDT and under these circumstance, introducing a new party and new issues into this litigation at this late date will needlessly complicate, delay and make more burdensome, the proper resolution of this dispute

The defendants’ memorandum then goes into the legal reasons why FTE’s motion should be rejected.

I understand that you are fully speculating here but do you have any relevant information to support your claims? Are you saying that the defendants were not aware of the central position of the book of Pandas and People?

In April Forrest submitted her expert report including the findings on Pandas. The motion to deny FTE’s intervention was in June. The ruling that Forrest would be given access to additional Pandas’ related information was also known to the defendants. After all it was Dembski’s unfortunate reference to unpublished Pandas’ work in his expert report that opened up a whole new can of worms.

And what could FTE have done that they could not achieve in their Amicus Curiae Brief? Have you read their brief? What do you expect FTE could have done to counter the devastating evidence presented of the history of the FTE or the history of Pandas? It’s hard to argue against cold facts… Assuming of course that one has familiarized oneself with said facts. So far Larry gives little reason for me to believe that he has read much of anything relevant to this case.

Comment #65590 Posted by PvM on December 29, 2005 05:40 AM

Larry said –

****Had the publisher been allowed to intervene, it might have persuaded the judge to show the Panda book in a more favorable — or less unfavorable — light. As it is, the book and the publisher were tried and convicted in absentia****

Read the Judge’s decision to deny FTE’s motion for intervention before you make such silly comments.

There is often a big difference between what is legal and what is right. You obviously do not know the difference.

Although the Judge denied the motion for intervention, he did grant the FTE status of Amicus Curiae.

That is not much consolation – there was no opportunity for cross-examination, an amicus briefs are often easy to ignore completely.

*****1) He appointed himself to be the sole final judge of the scientific merits of irreducible complexity******.

Nope, he did not and I encourage you to support your claim

See the sentence bridging pages 63-64 of the opinion, http://www.aclu.org/images/asset_up[…]77_23137.pdf

****(2) In violation of attorney-client privilege, he quoted a private communication between the school board and the school board’s Solicitor and used it against the defendants.(pages 111-112 of opinion)****

No he did not. The client provided the information voluntarily.

Would the defendants have voluntarily provided an attorney-client communication that was very damaging to them?

*****(3) He essentially barred the school board from ever requiring that any criticism of evolution theory be taught or discussed in the Dover Area schools.*****

Again, no he didn’t.

He enjoined the board from ever requiring that teachers “denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution.” (see page 138 of opinion). That means that the board cannot even require that criticism of evolution be taught or discussed in philosophy class.

So many errors.

Yes, so many errors – and they are all yours. You got one thing right here.

This is the part of West’s statement that should have been quoted –

“FTE wanted to cross-examine the ACLU’s witnesses as well as present its own experts, evidence, and arguments during the trial. Yet Judge Jones rejected FTE’s motion for intervention. FTE was eventually allowed to submit a “friend of the court” brief to Judge Jones, but such briefs do not have the same status as evidence and arguments presented at trial, and the brief was limited to no more than 5,000 words (including footnotes). That’s right, Judge Jones allowed FTE a mere 5,000 words to rebut literally hundreds of pages of testimony and allegations made by the ACLU. How is that for fair and impartial justice? Given Judge Jones’ explicit refusal to allow FTE to present a defense in the Dover case, his condemnation of FTE’s textbook was grotesque.”

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2005/1[…]ge.html#more

This trial is increasingly looking like a travesty of justice.

Larry Fafarman Wrote:

There is often a big difference between what is legal and what is right. You obviously do not know the difference.

I’d agree that there’s often a big difference. I believe that, in standard terminology, an activist Judge is one that rules on the basis of what he/she considers to be right rather than on the basis of law. You’re suggesting (if I understand correctly) that the judge be considered an activist for following the law regardless of his personal beliefs. This does not tally with what I understand to be the standard terminology.

Larry Fafarman Wrote:

Would the defendants have voluntarily provided an attorney-client communication that was very damaging to them?

Yes. My understanding is that this happens regularly - minimising the size of your privilege logs is considered to be a good way to show that you’re acting in good faith to a judge.

Regardless of the motivation for handing the potentially privileged information over, it’s obvious they did so as otherwise the judge wouldn’t have been able to quote from it in his ruling. Judges don’t generally get given copies of privileged information. Is it possible that you’re confusing “privileged” and “sealed” information?

Larry Fafarman Wrote:

He enjoined the board from ever requiring that teachers “denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution.” (see page 138 of opinion). That means that the board cannot even require that criticism of evolution be taught or discussed in philosophy class.

Disparaging/denigrating: ‘So this is what those “scientists” will try to say happened. Isn’t it unbelievable? Here, have a copy of “Of Pandas And People”.’

Criticising: Actually I can’t think of any valid criticisms of evolutionary theory as a whole, although of course it’s easy to criticise any sufficiently small component of it (‘some scientists believe that humans evolved on the savannah, but a better explanation may be that they moved to the beaches and evolved there.’). Can anyone help me out here?

* I think I read this in a magazine a few years back and it stuck with me. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Regards the amount of stuff the FTE was allowed to do:

1) The judge has authority to restrict it as much as he likes. He was under no obligation to give the FTE any of his (and everyone else’s) time at all. The default position for him to take was, in fact, “no, push off” - unless the FTE could provide a sufficiently convincing reason why they should be included.

2) The judge appears to have decided that the FTE was unlikely to add any value to the case that they couldn’t summarise in 5000 words (I’d tend to agree - feel free to provide suggestions as to what all that cross-examining etc could have achieved if you disagree. Remember that we already had one party attempting to rebut the Kitzmiller lawyers’ arguments).

3) If the judge had given the FTE free rein, it would have massively increased the length of the trial, incurring considerable further costs to all parties (not least the good ol’ US of A).

3a) This is partially because the FTE waited til the last minute to file their request.

4) Therefore I provisionally conclude that the judge was in fact legally and morally correct in denying the FTE’s request. I’d need to read up in more detail to be certain of this though.

5) This means that melodramatic comments about the trial being a travesty don’t strike me as terribly convincing, and in fact only serve to feed my well-developed superiority complex. Please do not feed the complex.

Larry, you are blithering again.

Tell us about the meteor showers, Larry. (snicker) (giggle)

He enjoined the board from ever requiring that teachers “denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution.” (see page 138 of opinion). That means that the board cannot even require that criticism of evolution be taught or discussed in philosophy class.

No, it does not mean that - and I encourage you to look the relevant words up in the dictionary, and then to examine how science and philosophy is actually done. There is a great difference between criticism and denigration/disparagement, and it is telling when people claim otherwise. In science, to criticise a theory is not to denigrate it, it is to test it and to encourage new ways of thinking about it. That might lead to faults being found in the theory, but that’s the idea. Did Einstein disparage Newton? It’s not uncommon - especially in religious and patriotic circles - for criticism to be stamped as denigration, usually (in my experience) because that’s an effective way to avoid having to address the meat of the criticism. Criticism can and often should be objective: denigration/disparagement is usually subjective.

The judge himself says, on page 136, that “To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect.” which is hardly the opinion of someone who wants to exalt it above criticism.

*****1) He appointed himself to be the sole final judge of the scientific merits of irreducible complexity******.

Nope, he did not and I encourage you to support your claim

See the sentence bridging pages 63-64 of the opinion…

This one?

Finally, we will offer our conclusion on whether ID is science not just because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause Case violation has occurred in this case, but also in the hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us.

Again, your reading of English is different to that of the dictionary. I read that sentence as the judge saying that he has to determine whether ID is science in order to decide the case – which I think is unarguable – and that he then HOPES that this will remove the need to do it again. You know, like he says. Are you saying that his expression of hope is equivalent to him establishing himself as the final arbiter on the subject? What definition of ‘hope’ covers that?

These are desperate misreadings indeed, and if this is the best you can find in 139 closely-argued pages then I suggest you reconsider your original assumptions.

R

Larry’s “should have been quoted” quote doesn’t help in the slightest. The FTE was not allowed to intervene, yes formally by the judge, but with the active and willing agreement of both plaintiffs and defendants. So constantly complaining that the FTE wasn’t “allowed” to intervene is rather bizarre. West might as well be directing his outrage at the Dover school board for not wanting FTE either.

In addition, emphasizing the “mere 5,000 words” verbiage is just fake outrage. The rules were clear and Judge Jones even could have completely rejected the brief had he wanted to.

Hey, somebody ask Larry about the Holocaust . …

(snicker) (giggle)

Comment #65598 Posted by RupertG on December 29, 2005 07:30 AM

Larry said –

*****He enjoined the board from ever requiring that teachers “denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution.” (see page 138 of opinion). That means that the board cannot even require that criticism of evolution be taught or discussed in philosophy class.*****

No, it does not mean that - and I encourage you to look the relevant words up in the dictionary, and then to examine how science and philosophy is actually done. There is a great difference between criticism and denigration/disparagement, and it is telling when people claim otherwise.

This is nothing but meaningless semantic nitpicking.

The judge himself says, on page 136, that “To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect.” which is hardly the opinion of someone who wants to exalt it above criticism.

So the judge has the right to criticize evolution theory but the school board does not ?

I read that sentence as the judge saying that he has to determine whether ID is science in order to decide the case — which I think is unarguable — and that he then HOPES that this will remove the need to do it again.

No, he did not have to determine whether ID is science – he could have decided the case solely on the basis of the religious motivations of some of the school board members.

Are you saying that his expression of hope is equivalent to him establishing himself as the final arbiter on the subject?

No – but it does establish him as wanting to be the final arbiter on the subject.

Ah, OK, I’m getting the picture. This is one of those irregular areas of English grammar.

I indulge in meaningless semantic nitpicking You provide proof of a major miscarriage of justice He appoints himself Supreme Justice by wishing really, really hard

See also…

ACTIVIST JUDGE: one with whom I disagree, but cannot fault at law LAW: Set of rules annoyingly contrived so as not to automatically confirm my prejudices SCIENCE: A religion, promoted for perverse reasons by power-mad liberals RELIGION: A science that would make our schoolchildren unique in the world, were it not irrationally denied them. GOD: See DESIGNER DESIGNER: Oooh, look at this pretty sea shell!

R

R

Comment #65603 Posted by stefan on December 29, 2005 07:48 AM

Larry’s “should have been quoted” quote doesn’t help in the slightest. The FTE was not allowed to intervene, yes formally by the judge, but with the active and willing agreement of both plaintiffs and defendants. So constantly complaining that the FTE wasn’t “allowed” to intervene is rather bizarre. West might as well be directing his outrage at the Dover school board for not wanting FTE either.

OK, I will concede your point about the defendants/defense not wanting the FTE to intervene (When was the last time anyone on this website conceded a point to me? Hasn’t happened very often). But I think that the defendants/defense were mostly motivated by a desire to shorten the trial to keep costs down. That’s OK – there was nothing wrong with that. They were just looking out for their own interests.

In addition, emphasizing the “mere 5,000 words” verbiage is just fake outrage. The rules were clear and Judge Jones even could have completely rejected the brief had he wanted to.

Under the circumstances, he really had no reasonable grounds for rejecting the brief. Amicus briefs are often accepted from parties who have no direct involvement in the case at all. In the Alan Bakke Supreme Court reverse-discrimination case, there were 62 amicus briefs – it probably still holds the record (interestingly, one of the amicus briefs, from Harvard U., was central to the decision). I think that judges routinely accept amicus briefs as a courtesy – the judges have no obligation to read them (who has time to read 62 briefs?). Also, briefs exceeding the length limit are permitted with the approval of the judge.

Larry Fafarman Wrote:

No, he did not have to determine whether ID is science — he could have decided the case solely on the basis of the religious motivations of some of the school board members.

Can anyone chip in as to whether the judge was actually required to consider all three prongs of the Lemon test? IIRC Larry is right that he wasn’t required to rule on all three but, if he had already been forced to check whether ID failed one, why on earth wouldn’t he write it up in his ruling?

I’d strongly disagree that the difference between disparaging and criticising is meaningless semantic nitpicking. To present a relevant example: I’m criticising, Lenny is disparaging. The difference being that the former is considered a legitimate means of disproof whereas the latter is just considered funny (at least by Lenny, anyway :P). So “isn’t that unbelievable” is not a legitimate criticism of, say, common descent, whereas “I’ve just found a magnemite fossil in precambrian rock. I can think of no way that this could have evolved from the species present at the time” is a legitimate criticism of common descent. This distinction is incredibly important to science, which relies for its integrity on the fact that scientists are constantly hurling every possible legitimate criticism at each other, and refraining from hurling illegitimate criticisms.

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 1, column 54, byte 54 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Russell Wrote: I have a theory. My theory (which, incidentally, is mine) is that John West is an idiot. It is, however, just a theory

Note that this is NOT a scientific theory because it is not falsifiable!

Larry,

A minor point, but one worth making. In your #65589 you mention “Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman.”” That is a misquote. He said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” which was a truthful statement.

Amusing how someone so utterly mindless can completely control a science blog

THAT is giving him far too much credit, and certainly encouraging him as much as any response possibly could.

congratulations.

Hi, Larry. I’m baacckk from the holidays myself now (man, that turkey was good!) and I notice that you’re still here.

And that you’re still a maroon.

Have you had a new thought that you want to tell us about? Otherwise, why are you still talking?

And while AI’m on the subject, have you had a new thought in, say, the last month? Year? Decade?

On any topic whatsoever?

Didn’t think so…

Larry Wrote:

It seems that the plaintiffs’ exorbitant legal bill is being blamed more on the defendants than on the plaintiffs’ legal representatives. The plaintiffs had 9-10 attorneys of record in the case —- a grossly excessive number. There was no reason for so many attorneys —- it was almost a case of too many cooks spoil the broth.

Says or resident ‘legal’ expert who has shown to be unfamiliar with the most basic concepts of law, the attorney-client privilege, the Establishment clause, the relevant rulings and testimonies involved and the concept of discovery.

Unfamiliarity with the law and facts should not be an excuse Larry.

So they won, ID lost… It was inevitable Larry.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on December 28, 2005 3:57 PM.

Pandas and Part Three was the previous entry in this blog.

Judge Jones: A Devout Christian? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter