The “intelligent design” activists are promoting some new spin about the Dover case. (See previous posts: here, here, and here.) Basically the creationists have decided to blame the current Dover Area School Board for the million dollar legal fees that the district has to pay. The basis for the claim is that the current board rejected a proposal to recend the “intelligent design” creationism policy after the trial was over and before Judge Jones issued his ruling. As law student Michael Francisco of the Discovery Institute says:
In essence, the new Dover school board was fully aware that keeping the policy in place increased the risk of expensive attorneys fees. Manzari & Cooper explain why it now appears that there was collusion between the ACLU, AUSCS, and Dover school board members. If what Manzari and Cooper say is true, this alleged collusion allowed the school board to effectively guarantee the Kitzmiller decision at a purchase price of $1 million dollars. This appropriation of public funds should be cause for outrage. Check out the Manzari & Cooper article for more shocking details.
Of course this is wrong. Rescinding the policy at this point wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the trial. (See above links.) However, I find this a very interesting claim because it shifts the blame for the outcome of the Dover trial from the old pro-creationism board to the new anti-creationism board. Nowhere do these creationists place the blame for the million dollar legal fees where it belongs: the former board who willfully introduced “intelligent design” creationism into public schools knowing that they would get sued. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Furthermore, the old board decided to go against their legal counsel and use the Thomas More Law Center, which voided their insurance and left the taxpayers with the bill.
As Judge Jones said in his ruling:
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 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.
In essence, the old Dover school board was fully aware that creating the policy and keeping it in place increased the risk of expensive attorneys fees. Judge Jones explained why it appeared that there was collusion between the TMLC and Dover school board members. If what Judge Jones said is true (and it is), this alleged collusion allowed the school board to effectively guarantee the Kitzmiller decision at a purchase price of $1 million dollars. This appropriation of public funds should be cause for outrage. Check out Judge Jones’s decision for more shocking details.