Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Kitzmiller v. Dover: a miscarriage of justice?

Last year Recliner Commentaries posted a series of articles on the Kitzmiller v. Dover case on Intelligent Design (see "Intelligent Design" in the subject index for previous posts). Now, a new revelation has come to light. Excerpts of a WorldNetDaily report appear below:

"One year ago, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones' 139-page ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover declared unconstitutional a school board policy that required students of a ninth-grade biology class in the Dover Area School District to hear a one-minute statement that said evolution is a theory and intelligent design "is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view."

"But an analysis by the Discovery Institute, the leading promoter of intelligent design, concludes about 90.9 percent – 5,458 words of his 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science – was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU's proposed "Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law" submitted to Jones nearly a month before his ruling."

John "West is vice president for public policy and legal affairs for the group's
Center for Science and Culture, which issued a statement saying, 'The finding that most of Judge Jones' analysis of intelligent design was apparently not the product of his own original deliberative activity seriously undercuts the credibility of Judge Jones' examination of the scientific validity of intelligent design."

"We were stunned," said West, who pointed out Jones even copied several clearly erroneous factual claims made by the ACLU."

"The revelation that Judge Jones in effect 'dragged and dropped' large sections of the ACLU's 'Findings of Fact' into his opinion, errors and all, calls into serious question whether Jones exercised the kind of independent analysis that would make his 'broad, stinging rebuke' of intelligent design appropriate."

This discovery raises serious questions. For example, since the ACLU was supporting the winning side, how can it possibly be ethical for the judge to have essentially cut-and-pasted his conclusion from arguments previously prepared by that side? Was the judge just a biased tool for one side of the dispute? Was this really a fair trial at all, or was this just a kangaroo court in which the judge had already made up his mind from the very beginning?

Given the fact that I read the decision and often found the judge’s reasoning to be ludicrous, my conclusion is that this case has moved beyond the issue of Intelligent Design to an issue of judicial ethics and the miscarriage of justice! If there is a mechanism in place for the investigation if judges, it needs to be applied in this case.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Maybe we should just outsource justice to the ACLU. They're always on right and good aren't they?

One does have to wonder why a judge would copy 90% of one defendants case as his own particularly given the errors in the argument. It does seem that he was negligent.