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NCSE, evolution, Caldwell, & "taxpayer standing"!

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  • Robert Baty
    http://ncseweb.org/news/2009/03/understanding-evolution-lawsuit-over-004690 Understanding California anti-evolution lawsuit (excerpts) On March 23, 2009, the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 12 12:50 PM
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      http://ncseweb.org/news/2009/03/understanding-evolution-lawsuit-over-004690

      Understanding California anti-evolution lawsuit

      (excerpts)

      On March 23, 2009, the Supreme Court denied certiorari without comment to Caldwell v. Caldwell, which challenged the constitutionality of the Understanding Evolution website — a joint project of the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education.

      The San Francisco Chronicle (March 23, 2009) reports,

      > "One page on Cal's 840
      > page 'Understanding Evolution' web
      > site says Darwinism can be compatible
      > with religion. The four-year-old suit by
      > Jeanne Caldwell said the government-
      > funded web site contradicts her
      > religious belief about the incompatibility > of religion and Darwinism and amounts > to a state position on religious doctrine > that violates the Constitutional
      > separation of church and state."

      Caldwell filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in 2005.

      But her suit was dismissed in 2006 because she

      > failed to allege that she had
      > federal taxpayer standing,

      > failed to sufficiently allege state
      > taxpayer standing,

      > and

      > failed to establish that she suffered
      > a concrete "injury in fact."

      When she appealed the decision, the appellate court's decision concluded,

      > "Accordingly, we believe there is too
      > slight a connection between Caldwell’s
      > generalized grievance, and the
      > government conduct about which she
      > complains, to sustain her standing to
      > proceed."

      Reacting to the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the case, a lawyer for the University of California told the Chronicle,

      > "We believe the lower court rulings
      > were correct, and we're glad this ends
      > the matter."

      Understanding Evolution...has been such a success in providing information about evolution to teachers, students, and the general public that the University of California Museum of Paleontology proceeded to develop a similar but broader resource, Understanding Science, which launched in 2009, just in time for the Year of Science.

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