Cobb County plaintiffs charged that "theory not fact" statement endorses religion
This "theory not fact" charge was possibly a factor in stampeding the Cobb County board of education into copping out and caving in. However, there was really little cause for concern. In the appeals court oral hearings, the judges did not seem to have much sympathy for this charge -- for example, Appeals Judge Edward Carnes told an attorney representing the plaintiff/appellees,
"I don't think y'all can contest any of the sentences. It is a theory, not a fact; the book supports that."
Judge Carnes also told the attorney,
"Your difficulty is that you've got to take something that actually is reflective of the content of this textbook you like so much, and say it violates the First Amendment."
Also, a news report of the hearing said,
Judge Ed Carnes, one of the panel members, said the three-sentence disclaimer seemed to him to be "literally accurate." Judge Carnes also chided the lower court for getting "some of the key facts" wrong. Another panelist, Judge Bill Pryor, agreed with Judge Carnes, saying the lower court relied on facts that "are just contradicted by the record." The final panelist, Judge Frank Hull, questioned how the federal district court could have found the sticker's language misleading to biology students when there was no evidence to support that view.
I wish I could get a complete transcript of the oral hearing -- it must have really been something. LOL
BTW, the vote to appeal the case was 5-2. What was the vote to settle the case out of court? I haven't seen that yet.
Labels: Selman v. Cobb County