Wednesday, April 20, 2016

10th Circuit: Challenge To Kansas School Science Standards Dismissed on Standing Grounds

In COPE v. Kansas State Board of Education, (10th Cir., April 19, 2016), the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed on standing grounds an Establishment Clause challenge to Kansas' curriculum standards for science instruction in grades K-12.  Plaintiffs claimed that the State Board’s adoption of the Standards communicated a religious message, and their implementation will result in anti-religious instruction.  The court said in part:
[T]he Standards do not condemn any or all religions and do not target religious believers for disfavored treatment. And COPE offers only threadbare assertions that the Standards intend to promote a non-religious worldview. Thus, COPE’s allegations regarding adoption amount to psychological consequences produced by observation of conduct with which it disagrees.... This injury does not suffice....