Dispatches from the Creation Wars

In yet another similarity to the Dover case, the Ector County Independent School District (ECISD) will be defended in court free of charge by a religious right legal group, the Liberty Legal Institute. LLI should not be confused with Liberty Counsel, a more prominent religious right legal group affiliated with Jerry Falwell and Liberty University. ECISD is the Odessa, TX school district being sued for the sectarian nature of its elective Bible course, which uses the NCBCPS curriculum.

ECISD’s board of trustees voted 6-0 May 21 to have Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute represent ECISD at no cost in a federal lawsuit over its Bible course.

The Liberty Legal Institute — a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1997 to deal with First Amendment rights and individual religious freedoms — offers legal services pro bono, or free of charge, to its clients, Hiram Sasser, litigation director for the Institute, said.

“Everything we do is going to be paid for by us,” Sasser said. “The district doesn’t have to pay a dime — nothing.”


It is not clear from the article whether Liberty Legal will also pay the legal fees of the plaintiffs if the school district loses the case. In the Dover case, of course, the Thomas More Law Center provided the defense pro bono but did not pay the $1 million in plaintiffs’ legal fees the district was forced to pay when they lost. I suspect that the same will be true here, but possibly not. I have heard reports that the NCBCPS actually indemnifies school districts against all financial losses if the curriculum is challenged in court. I don’t know that to be true, however; it is unconfirmed.

Comments

  1. #1 DM
    June 8, 2007

    Yeah this will be a big one to watch, considering the claim by the curriculum makers that it is being used in “395 districts in 37 states”. One has to wonder how many of those schools are private/parochial…nonetheless…

  2. #2 skip
    June 8, 2007

    It is not clear from the article whether Liberty Legal will also pay the legal fees of the plaintiffs if the school district loses the case.

    Why the hell doesn’t God put up the money? I mean, I can’t count any times I’ve heard “that guy has more money than God,” and the like.

    Maybe God knows he doesn’t have a case and isn’t willing to put his money where his mouth is.

  3. #3 Reed A. Cartwright
    June 8, 2007

    Hopefully, LLI will be as clueless as TMLC and actually think that academics is on their side.

  4. #4 jufulu,FCD
    June 8, 2007

    Of coures LLI will win, they have God on their side.