More buffoonery from Judge Jones
Sitting in the barren visiting judge's chambers in Harrisburg (he usually hears cases in Williamsport), Jones ponders a question about the movie Inherit the Wind, starring Spencer Tracy as lawyer William Jennings Bryan and Gene Kelly as columnist H.L. Mencken.
He said he saw the film -- based on the landmark Scopes trial that tested a Tennessee law forbidding the teaching of evolution -- years ago.
Jones says he plans to watch the movie again, soon.
"It would help put things in historical context," he said. "I don't know if it would be helpful to the decision I have to make."
Then he laughs. "You know," he said, "nobody ever remembers who played the judge in that movie." (emphasis added)
Contrary to his statement that the movie would "help put things in historical context," the movie was very loosely based on the actual Scopes trial. The movie's negative portrayals of fundies could have biased Jones against the defendants and led to some of the Dover opinion's derogatory statements about them, e.g., accusing them of "breathtaking inanity." Furthermore, Jones statement of his intention to see the movie again violated his pledge to avoid unnecessary outside influences that could affect his decision.
A page on the Univ. of Missouri -- Kansas City's website about the Scopes trial says:
Inherit the Wind does not purport to be a historically accurate depiction of the Scopes trial ..... Place names and names of trial participants have been changed. Lawrence and Lee created several fictional characters, including a fundamentalist preacher and his daughter, who in the play is the fiancé of John Scopes ..... William Jennings Bryan, Matthew Harrison Brady in the play, is portrayed as an almost comical fanatic ...... The townspeople of fictional Hillsboro are far more frenzied, mean-spirited, and ignorant than were the real denizens of Dayton.
Also, a Wikipedia article on Inherit the Wind notes several important differences between the actual trial and the play and/or the movie -- e.g., both the play and the movie differed from the trial in the following important way: "In answer to a question from Drummond concerning the Origin of Species, Brady says he has no interest in 'the pagan hypotheses of that book.' In reality, Bryan was very familiar with Darwin's writings and quoted them extensively."
Judge Jones joked that "nobody ever remembers who played the judge in that movie." In fact, nobody ever remembers the name of the judge in the actual Scopes trial, though the trial is sometimes called "the trial of the century" and is ranked very high in any list of the top trials of the 20th century. So the megalomaniacal Judge Jones decided to write as broad a decision as possible in the Dover trial in order to ensure that he would be remembered one way or another. In his Senate confirmation hearing, Chief Justice John "Ump" Roberts said that a judge is like an umpire -- it is not the umpire's job to pitch or bat and no one ever came to a baseball game to watch the umpire. But Judge Jones wanted to be the judicial equivalent of a big baseball star on steroids. You can rest assured, Judge Jones, that you will never be forgotten -- your name will become a synonym for "lousy judge."
Considering the breathtaking inanity of Judge Jones' Dover opinion and speeches following the Dover trial, an appropriate name for a play or movie about the Dover trial might be "Inherit the Hot Air."
This article adds to my rapidly growing list of articles condemning Judge Jones:
"Judge Jones wrong about Founding Fathers' 'true religion' "
"More 'breathtaking inanity' from Judge Jones"
"Adulation of Judge Jones"
"Judge Jones flunks history and philosophy as well as law and science"
"Judge Jones is hot speaker on the lecture circuit"
"Judge Jones the hypocrite"
Judge Jones gets dishonorable mention in the following article:
"NYC Mayor Bloomberg's commencement speech took swipe at ID"
My condemnations of Judge Jones' rulings in Kitzmiller v. Dover are on:
"Traipsing into breathtaking inanity -- absurd rulings in the Dover Intelligent Design case"
Labels: Judge Jones (2 of 2)