Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Court Dismisses Challenge By Theists To Kansas Science Standards

In COPE v. Kansas State Board of Education, (D KA, Dec. 2, 2014), a Kansas federal district court dismissed on 11th Amendment and standing grounds a challenge to the Kansas State Board of Education science Framework and Standards. Students, parents, taxpayers and a non-profit organization sued claiming that adoption of these guidelines "will cause Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview in violation of the Establishment, Free Exercise, and Speech Clauses of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."  As further explained by the court:
Plaintiffs contend that the Standards ... use... deceptive methods to lead impressionable children to answer questions about the cause of life with only materialistic or atheistic answers.
In its 25-page discussion of standing, the court said in part:
The Court concludes that our Circuit, when confronted with plaintiffs’ standing argument in this case, would follow the reasoning used by the Seventh and District of Columbia Circuits and hold that plaintiffs lack standing to sue where the only injury alleged is based on a “message” of government endorsement of religion.
AP reports on the decision. COPE has links to pleadings in the case.