Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Friday, July 15, 2005

Judge Will Review Reporters' Notes in Intelligent Design Case

In order to decide whether journalists who covered the current controversy over whether intelligent design (ID) should be taught in the Dover Area, Pennsylvania, schools, should be required to testify, the federal judge presiding over the case will examine those reporters' notes. The two reporters will turn over their source materials to Judge John E. Jones III in order for him to decide whether the reporters' testimony is relevant to the proceeding. If he decides it is not, he will quash the subpoenas issued to the journalists by the school board, which hopes to defend the changes in its curriculum made last year. Those changes include the introduction of information on intelligent design, which presents the notion that the universe must have been created by an unnamed but purposeful force. The Thomas More Law Center, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is providing legal assistance to the school board. Eight families are challenging the changes in the curriculum, saying that ID is simply creationism dressed up in secular language. See a story here about the judge's decision to review the notes, an ACLU press release about the lawsuit here, and a December 2004 story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the lawsuit here.

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