Was Justice Denied to <i>Foundation for Thought and Ethics</i> during the Dover Intelligent Design Trial? - Evolution News & Views

Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

Evolution News and Views
EVOLUTION NEWS & VIEWS
 

Was Justice Denied to Foundation for Thought and Ethics during the Dover Intelligent Design Trial?

Was justice denied to Foundation for Thought and Ethics during the Kitzmiller intelligent design trial? Whether or not it was, do you think NOVA will relate this information in their Judgment Day program about the trial next week? Don't count on it.

Last year attorneys Seth Cooper and Leonard Brown published an article entitled, "A Textbook Case of Judicial Activism: How a Pro-ID Publisher Was Denied its Day in Court," which describes how the publisher of the textbook Of Pandas and People, Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE), was denied the right to become a party to the Kitzmiller trial, despite the fact that its intellectual property rights were implicated in the lawsuit.

Interestingly, FTE had completed manuscripts of a new intelligent design book, The Design of Life, and at that time it was already under review for publication.

The NCSE was dying to get its hands on the book so they could prepare their attack, and they used the Dover trial and lawyers with the ACLU to basically steal the manuscript from FTE.

The ACLU's subpoenas of FTE were a broadside representing potential catastrophe for the publisher. The ACLU had secured as consultants the pro-Darwin and Oakland-based anti-ID lobby group, National Center for Science Education (NCSE). The NCSE has long been a harsh critic of Pandas, and the ACLU sought to place the important Design of Life draft into their hands.
It's a nasty little story, and again, one you won't be getting from NOVA.

As background, the right of a party to "intervene" in a lawsuit is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24 (a):

(a) Intervention of Right. Upon timely application anyone shall be permitted to intervene in an action: (1) when a statute of the United States confers an unconditional right to intervene; or (2) when the applicant claims an interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action and the applicant is so situated that the disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the applicant's ability to protect that interest, unless the applicant's interest is adequately represented by existing parties.

The Kitzmiller complaint alleged that Of Pandas and People promoted an unconstitutional viewpoint which was "inherently religious," and that it was published by FTE, a "Christian think-tank." FTE, its textbook, and its textbook authors were all implicated in the complaint -- and it seems "the disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the applicant's ability to protect that interest." Judge Jones felt that Dover would adequately represent FTE's interests, but did it? And how did the decision impact the rights of FTE? To learn more, read Cooper and Brown's excellent article, entitled, "A Textbook Case of Judicial Activism: How a Pro-ID Publisher Was Denied its Day in Court."