Larry Caldwell is back with yet another nuisance suit, this one claiming that because the Understanding Evolution website references statements from religious groups saying that evolution is not in conflict with their beliefs, this violates the establishment clause. Here's Caldwell's loony take on it:
"In this stunning example of hypocrisy, the same people who so loudly proclaim that they oppose discussion of religion in science classes are clamoring for public school teachers to expressly use theology in order to convince students to support evolution," said Larry Caldwell, president of Quality Science Education for All, who is co-counsel in the suit with the Pacific Justice Institute.
Timothy Sandefur has already written a response on the Panda's Thumb, pointing out the absurdity of the whole thing:
According to Caldwell's press release, the "offending" website "makes the theological claim that 'most Christian and Jewish religious groups have no conflict with the theory of evolution.'" This, of course, is not a theological claim at all, no more than it would be to say that "most Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God," or "Most Jewish groups are made up of Jews." It is a descriptive statement, which is entirely appropriate in the context of taxpayer-funded education. No Court has ever suggested that the government cannot fund a statement which describes the beliefs of particular religious groups, even if they do so for a reason that parents do not want to hear. The government may declare (or fund other people declaring) that "most Christian and Jewish religious groups have no conflict with the theory of evolution," because it is a fact, much like the fact that sun rises in the East, or the fact that the world is round, or the fact that human beings evolved from simpler life forms through a process of natural selection. All of these, being facts, may be stated as such by the government, without violating the First Amendment.
Wouldn't you love to see Caldwell get nailed for all these nuisance suits and have to pay the legal fees of the other side? I bet that would slow him right down in filing them.
If Caldwell is to be taken to task officially for these nuisance suits, some attorney is going to have to aggressively make the case in court. Will attorneys for the defendants in this case make that case -- quickly, constantly, and hard?
If Caldwell again fails to serve papers, the defendants' attorneys should sue him, in those courts, to get a stop to it.