Tuesday, April 04, 2006
[T]he newly elected Dover Area School Board, which campaigned on removing the ID policy actually chose to keep the policy during their first meeting . . . [b]ecause the Board members understood that removing the policy could have ended the legal controversy.
The claim that the Board could have short-circuited the decision and, therefore, the legal fees, is ludicrous. As I have already discussed, a party cannot defend a lawsuit up through the trial and, just at the point that the decision is about to be rendered, simply declare that it won’t do what was complained of anymore and demand that everything be forgiven. The courts are not required to play the fool. With a change back to the old policy only as far away as the next election, Judge Jones would have been totally justified in rendering his decision. Indeed, The test of whether subsequent circumstances have rendered a case moot is said to be a "stringent" one and it must be absolutely clear that the wrongful action could not reasonably be expected to recur before a case is dismissed on that ground.
Even if the new Board was willing to confess a judgment and consent to an order forbidding the policy ever being re-instituted, that would not have prevented legal fees, because the same confession of judgment would be a concession that the Board had violated the Constitution and owed the plaintiff the fees under Federal law. Given that the vast majority of the legal fees had been incurred before the new Board members took their seats, the difference in the amounts would have been minor at best.
This totally unwarranted attack on the good names of people whose only "offense" was to stand up in public for what they believed was right and to oppose the unconstitutional religious aims of the ID movement displays, better than any opponent of ID could possibly do, the bankruptcy of ID both intellectually and morally. It can only remind any thinking person of Judge Jones’ words:
It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.
Bad as Francisco's post is, apparently it was worse before he or someone else edited it to tone it down. See Ed Brayton's discussion of the . . . well . . . evolution of Francisco's accusations at Ed's blog, Dispatches From the Culture Wars.
Don't forget the Dover Board was warned about the dangers by their own attorney and were able to deceive themselves nonetheless.