THE “PROGENITAL” FOR BOWERS V. HARDWICK


If you read long enough, you’ll find out that the Supreme Court already has considered questions of law long before it publishes “seminary” (or what people believe to be the first) opinions on these questions. Think Bowers v. Hardwick was the first case involving the issue of whether there was a “fundamental right to sodomy”? It wasn’t:

425 U.S. 901, 96 S.Ct. 1489, 47 L.Ed.2d 751
Supreme Court of the United States
John DOE et al., appellants,v.COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY FOR CITY OF RICHMOND et al.
No. 75-896.
March 29, 1976 Rehearing Denied May 19, 1976.See 425 U.S. 985, 96 S.Ct. 2192.Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.Facts and opinion, D.C., 403 F.Supp. 1199.*1490 Judgment affirmed.Mr. Justice BRENNAN, Mr. Justice MARSHALL and Mr. Justice STEVENS would note probable jurisdiction and set case for oral argument.
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Also, in bumpkin Cobb County, here in Atlanta, the Cobb school board has fought furiously to install a sticker iin every science textook stating that evolution is just a theory (of course, no other sticker regarding any other scientific theory graces these texts). The Supreme Court’s never addresed the issue of whether such stickers violate the Establishment Clause, right? Well, not exactly:

Supreme Court of the United States
Tangipahoa Parish Bd. of Educ. v. Freiler, 530 U.S. 1251, 120 S.Ct. 2706 (Mem), U.S.,2000,June 19, 2000 (Approx. 2 pages)
TANGIPAHOA PARISH BOARD OF EDUCATION, et al., petitioners,v.Herb FREILER, et al.
No. 99-1625.
June 19, 2000.Case below, 185 F.3d 337.Petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied.Justice SCALIA, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE and Justice THOMAS join, dissenting.

On April 19, 1994, the Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, Board of Education (Board) passed the following resolution:�Whenever, in classes of elementary or high school, the scientific theory of evolution is to be presented, whether from textbook, workbook, pamphlet, other written material, or oral presentation the following statement shall be quoted immediately before the unit of study begins as a disclaimer from endorsement of such theory.�It is hereby recognized by the Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education, that the lesson to be presented, regarding the origin of life and matter, is known as the Scientific Theory of Evolution and should be presented to inform students of the scientific concept and not intended to influence or dissuade the Biblical version of Creation or any other concept.�It is further recognized by the Board of Education that it is the basic right and privilege of each student to form his/her own opinion or maintain beliefs taught by parents on this very important matter of the origin of life and matter. Students are urged to exercise critical thinking and gather all information possible and closely examine each alternative toward forming an opinion.�

Naturally, Scalia and Thomas wanted to hear this case so that they could rule that the oral instruction did not violate the Establishment Clause. Perhaps it does not. May I suggest a compromise: creationism can be taught in public schools if evolution can be taught in churches. Or, as someone put the matter less delicately, “If you don’t pray in my school, I won’t think in your church”.


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