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Re: [wc] Gregoire's victory

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  • Dan Dugan
    ... That is correct, the case is over and done with. Waldorf promoters are making unwarranted claims of victory, however. The case was decided on purely
    Message 1 of 20 , May 25, 2013
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      >> The Plans case might settle whether public funding is incompatible with the,constitution -- which is an important enough question to solve --, but the perspective will by necessity be limited.
      >>
      > My understanding is that there isn't a PLANS case at all, at the moment.

      That is correct, the case is over and done with. Waldorf promoters are making unwarranted claims of victory, however. The case was decided on purely technical issues of rules of evidence. The courts (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) did not make any ruling on whether Anthroposophy is a religion under the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, nor did they rule on whether Anthroposophy was present in the publicly-funded Waldorf schools that we sued. The field is open for starting over, which is our plan.

      -Dan
    • alicia h.
      ... with the,constitution -- which is an important enough question to solve --, but the perspective will by necessity be limited. ... making unwarranted claims
      Message 2 of 20 , May 25, 2013
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        On 26 May 2013 03:02, "Dan Dugan" <dan@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > >> The Plans case might settle whether public funding is incompatible
        with the,constitution -- which is an important enough question to solve --,
        but the perspective will by necessity be limited.
        > >>
        > > My understanding is that there isn't a PLANS case at all, at the moment.
        >
        > That is correct, the case is over and done with. Waldorf promoters are
        making unwarranted claims of victory, however. The case was decided on
        purely technical issues of rules of evidence. The courts (U.S. District
        Court, Eastern District of California, and the 9th Circuit Court of
        Appeals) did not make any ruling on whether Anthroposophy is a religion
        under the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, nor did they rule
        on whether Anthroposophy was present in the publicly-funded Waldorf schools
        that we sued. The field is open for starting over, which is our plan.
        >
        > -Dan
        >

        Thanks for explaining, Dan. I didn't know (or perhaps rather have
        forgotten) that it must all be taken from the beginning.

        (This means you can choose other schools/districts?)

        -a


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • rafaelsanza
        ... I would love to see these lawsuits come about, and applaud Perra s victory. Waldorf needs to defend, prove, and explain these issues of contention.
        Message 3 of 20 , May 25, 2013
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          --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, Dan Dugan <dan@...> wrote:
          > That is correct, the case is over and done with. Waldorf promoters are making unwarranted claims of victory, however. The case was decided on purely technical issues of rules of evidence. The courts (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) did not make any ruling on whether Anthroposophy is a religion under the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, nor did they rule on whether Anthroposophy was present in the publicly-funded Waldorf schools that we sued. The field is open for starting over, which is our plan.
          >
          > -Dan


          I would love to see these lawsuits come about, and applaud Perra's victory. Waldorf needs to defend, prove, and explain these issues of contention.
          >
        • NeilF00
          ... PLANS invested twelve years in this lawsuit, spent who knows how many hours and dollars, and burned through three lawyers. At the end, they had
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 4, 2013
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            --- On May 26, 2013, Dan Dugan <dan@...> wrote:

            > The case is over and done with. Waldorf promoters are making
            > unwarranted claims of victory, however.

            PLANS invested twelve years in this lawsuit, spent who knows how many
            hours and dollars, and burned through three lawyers. At the end, they
            had accomplished ... nothing. As the District Court decision concludes:
            "IT IS ORDERED and ADJUDGED that plaintiff take nothing and that the
            action be dismissed on the merits. Judgment shall be entered in favor
            of defendant."

            PLANS is back exactly where it was in 1998.

            Of course, there is no reason to suppose that PLANS will give up and go
            away, but as far as PLANS, Inc. v. SACRAMENTO CITY UNIFIED SCHOOL
            DISTRICT, et al. is concerned, it is hard to see the result as anything
            but an unqualified victory for SACRAMENTO CITY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT,
            et al., and an unqualified defeat for PLANS, Inc.

            > The case was decided on purely technical issues of rules of evidence.

            The rules of evidence are at the heart of how legal disputes are
            resolved. Dismissing them as "purely technical" is like:

            The losing team claimed that the soccer game was decided on purely
            technical rules of field position. Impartial observers explained
            that every time the team got near the goal, they lost possession on
            an offsides violation.

            This was not "Judge Judy". This was Federal District Court. People who
            start lawsuits in Federal Court are expected to know the rules. PLANS
            had twelve years to prepare their case. That they were unable, in the
            end, to submit any admissible evidence is scarcely a technical detail.

            Attempting to submit a stack of books as evidence, with no witnesses to
            provide provenance, authentication, context, or explanation, was never
            likely to be a successful strategy. If nothing else, PLANS's failure,
            for the same reasons, to enter a single book into evidence in the 2005
            trial should have been a warning.

            But all that aside, it is seriously misleading to claim that the case
            was decided purely on rules of evidence. PLANS chose to go to trial with
            exactly one witness. That their witness's testimony provided no support
            for their position was arguably as damaging to their case as the
            inadmissibility of their evidence.

            > The courts (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, and
            > the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) did not make any ruling on whether
            > Anthroposophy is a religion under the Establishment Clause of the U.S.
            > Constitution,

            The purpose of the trial was to address the issue of whether
            anthroposophy is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes, and PLANS
            had the burden of proof. With regard to that issue, the court found that
            "plaintiff simply failed to offer any evidence to support a finding that
            anthroposophy is a religion".

            The court didn't stop there, though. It followed up with thirteen pages
            of analysis applying the relevant case law defining what is a religion
            to the facts of this case, "because of ... the important constitutional
            issue raised by plaintiff’s claims". It found that none of the tests in
            the case law supported PLANS's claim that anthroposophy was a religion.

            > nor did they rule on whether Anthroposophy was present in the
            > publicly-funded Waldorf schools that we sued.

            ... since that question was irrelevant, once it had been determined
            that anthroposophy was not a religion.

            > The field is open for starting over, which is our plan.

            I think you are being optimistic. You might want to look at the doctrine of collateral estoppel:

            A doctrine by which an earlier decision rendered by a court in a
            lawsuit between parties is conclusive as to the issues or
            controverted points so that they cannot be relitigated in subsequent
            proceedings involving the same parties.

            ...

            The application of the collateral estoppel doctrine promotes the
            speedy administration of justice by preventing the continuous,
            duplicative litigation of fruitless claims when relitigation of them
            is unlikely to change the original decision made regarding them.

            ...

            Traditionally, collateral estoppel applied only where there was
            mutuality of parties, meaning that both the party seeking to employ
            collateral estoppel and the party against whom collateral estoppel
            is sought were parties to the prior action. Most courts in the
            United States have now abandoned mutuality as a requirement for
            collateral estoppel in most circumstances.

            In other words, it seems unlikely that you will get the chance to
            argue that anthroposophy is a religion in another case, after having
            definitively lost the argument in this case.

            Regards,

            Neil Faiman
          • Peter Staudenmaier
            ... Heavens, not that. Nice to hear from Neil again, Peter S.
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 4, 2013
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              > Attempting to submit a stack of books as evidence


              Heavens, not that.


              Nice to hear from Neil again,


              Peter S.
            • alicia h.
              ... Although books are splendid (for those who care to find out what they contain), a live eurythmy performance or morning verse recital or ritual dragon
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 4, 2013
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                On 4 Jun 2013 15:00, "Peter Staudenmaier" <pstaud@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > > Attempting to submit a stack of books as evidence
                >
                > Heavens, not that.
                >
                >

                Although books are splendid (for those who care to find out what they
                contain), a live eurythmy performance or morning verse recital or ritual
                dragon slaying might not have lacked persuasive qualities either.

                -a


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • mark_camb
                Neil, I follow your reasoning and that of the court even though I disagree with both. ... I can see why a US court would not have ruled on that question in the
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 4, 2013
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                  Neil,

                  I follow your reasoning and that of the court even though I disagree with both.

                  However, I particularly want to pick up on:

                  --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, "NeilF00" <Neil.yahoo@...> wrote:
                  > > nor did they rule on whether Anthroposophy was present in the
                  > > publicly-funded Waldorf schools that we sued.
                  >
                  > ... since that question was irrelevant, once it had been determined
                  > that anthroposophy was not a religion.

                  I can see why a US court would not have ruled on that question in the PLANS case. Here in the UK it's perfectly legal for state funded schools to be religious. The question of whether anthroposophy is present in publicly-funded schools is still highly relevant. The schools seem to tie themselves in all sorts of interesting knots trying to explain it. Why do you think that is?

                  Mark.
                • awaldenpond
                  ... hours and dollars, and burned through three lawyers. At the end, they had accomplished ... nothing. I disagree - on two counts. I don t speak for PLANS
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 4, 2013
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                    >PLANS invested twelve years in this lawsuit, spent who knows how many
                    hours and dollars, and burned through three lawyers. At the end, they
                    had accomplished ... nothing."

                    I disagree - on two counts. I don't speak for PLANS but . . . when one acts on integrity and principle, lots is accomplished. Secondly, the lawsuit has garnered public attention to concerns re Waldorf. While the outcome might be considered a positive result for Anthroposophy/Waldorf, the publicity surrounding the case has certainly compelled many would-be Waldorf parents to do more research.

                    -Walden

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • laurennefertiti
                    Not having (enough) evidence- a purely technical reason- is definitely not a victory for those who the (non)evidence was supposed to defeat. hmm interesting
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 4, 2013
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                      Not having (enough) evidence- a purely technical reason- is definitely not a victory for those who the (non)evidence was supposed to defeat. hmm interesting rationalization



                      --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, Dan Dugan <dan@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > >> The Plans case might settle whether public funding is incompatible with the,constitution -- which is an important enough question to solve --, but the perspective will by necessity be limited.
                      > >>
                      > > My understanding is that there isn't a PLANS case at all, at the moment.
                      >
                      > That is correct, the case is over and done with. Waldorf promoters are making unwarranted claims of victory, however. The case was decided on purely technical issues of rules of evidence. The courts (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) did not make any ruling on whether Anthroposophy is a religion under the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, nor did they rule on whether Anthroposophy was present in the publicly-funded Waldorf schools that we sued. The field is open for starting over, which is our plan.
                      >
                      > -Dan
                      >
                    • laurennefertiti
                      Not having (enough) evidence- a purely technical reason- is definitely not a victory for those who the (non)evidence was supposed to defeat. hmm interesting
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 4, 2013
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                        Not having (enough) evidence- a purely technical reason- is definitely not a victory for those who the (non)evidence was supposed to defeat. hmm interesting rationalization



                        --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, Dan Dugan <dan@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > >> The Plans case might settle whether public funding is incompatible with the,constitution -- which is an important enough question to solve --, but the perspective will by necessity be limited.
                        > >>
                        > > My understanding is that there isn't a PLANS case at all, at the moment.
                        >
                        > That is correct, the case is over and done with. Waldorf promoters are making unwarranted claims of victory, however. The case was decided on purely technical issues of rules of evidence. The courts (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) did not make any ruling on whether Anthroposophy is a religion under the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, nor did they rule on whether Anthroposophy was present in the publicly-funded Waldorf schools that we sued. The field is open for starting over, which is our plan.
                        >
                        > -Dan
                        >
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