Category Archives: Constitutional law

David Barton on majorities and minority rights

Under Construction I don’t have time to write this post right now — hopefully I’ll get to it before too long. But I did want to post these paragraphs now while people are looking for this. These relate to a story on Al Sharpton’s show on MSNBC tonight (Aug 24, 2011) on Rick Perry and David […]

Kentucky anti-science act

It’s that time of year again, when legislatures throughout these united states are opening new sessions after the elections, and fundamentalist legislators renew their campaigns against teaching science in the public schools. One of the first out of the gate this year is Kentucky, where this “Kentucky Science Education and Intellectual Freedom Act” has been […]

Gay 14-y-o Graeme Taylor supports teacher at School Board meeting

Click the photo of Graeme Taylor (at left) to see the video of his very impressive testimony at a local school board meeting, in support of a high school teacher who was disciplined for his stance against a student’s statement regarding homosexuality. Also, you can click the image at right to see video of Graeme […]

New book on teaching evolution or creationism in US classrooms

This post is simply to call attention to Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America’s Classrooms, an important new book by Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer. As described at Who should decide what children are taught in school? This question lies at the heart of the evolution-creation wars that have become a regular feature […]

GOP Congress candidate: Church|State separation comes from “Hitler’s mouth” (video)

For all the attention being given to Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell’s upset of long-time popular Congressman and former Delaware Governor Mike Castle for the GOP nomination for Joe Biden’s seat in the U.S. Senate, relatively little notice has been paid to fellow Tea Partier Glen Urquhart’s upset of the mainstream GOP favorite for the […]

Oklahoma’s Judeo-Christian Law amendment measure

Jeff Musall has it about right in his (subtly-titled) opinion piece, “Oklahoma’s ‘Save Our State’ amendment to ban Sharia law is abominable.” Here is the news release from the Oklahoma legislature:

SBOE’s Dunbar @ “liberty”. “edu”, on CBN, etc.

I don’t believe I’ve ever had such an extensive post here devoted as much as this one is to the antics of Cynthia Dunbar. Hence, it’s tempting to use something like “Dumb and Dunbar” as the title of this post. (Is it really possible that nobody has used that title before?) I can’t do that […]

Dunbar Takes New Trip on Extremism Train (via Texas Freedom Network)

Here’s more on the recent antics on Cynthia Noland Dunbar, lame duck member of the Texas SBOE. This is one of a few items that I’m posting as background for a couple of my own new posts that will appear later today. Good grief. Cynthia Dunbar has demonstrated once again the kind of religious and political […]

Religious Freedom Fails in Texas (via Texas Freedom Network)

The Texas Freedom Network just sent out the following press release: The Texas State Board of Education’s vote today against requiring that students learn what the nation’s Founders did to protect religious freedom represents an irresponsible rewriting of American history and a stunning triumph of politics over education, the president of the Texas Freedom Network […]

Glenn Beck: “It is God’s finger that wrote Declaration, Constitution”

In his commencement speech at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University Saturday (May 15, 2010), Glenn Beck gave a preview of what history teaching might someday look like if the current majority (including some lame ducks) of the Texas State Board of Education gets its way. Beck proclaimed, for example, that It is God’s finger that wrote […]

Representative Democracy vs. the Senate filibuster

A cloture-proof filibuster is more than just a remote hypothetical possibility. The pie-chart here provides a picture of what it means for representative democracy when such a minority can hold hostage the government of the United States. The minority — in terms of representation of the people — is significantly less than the 40% that it is often thought to be.

the debate I wanna see (Will Phillips v. Carrie Prejean)

On CNN Monday morning (Nov. 16, 2009), ten-year-old Will Phillips his reason for refusing to say the pledge of allegiance in his fifth-grade class: I’ve grown up with a lot of people and I’m good friends with a lot of people who are gay and I think they should have the rights all people should, […]

“neutrality” strikes again: banned band shirts in MO (evolution/religion dispute)

A story by Tonya Fennell for the Sedalia (MO) Democrat reports on the action taken by Assistant Superintendent Brad Pollitt in response to complaints from some parents about T-shirts designed for the school marching band’s program, “Brass Evolutions 2009.” Pollitt says he “made the decision to have the band members turn the shirts in after […]

ICR tries again in suit over grad “science ed” degree in Texas

Unwilling to deal with the hilariously hideous complaint that was filed initially by the Institute for Creation Research in their attempt to get accreditation for their graduate degree program in “science education,” the judge ordered ICR to file an amended complaint, and then a second amended complaint, with a maximum page limit of 20 pages. […]

Comer decision appealed

added 8/31/2009: The case of the banned band T-shirts in Missouri may be eerily related to this case. ========= Chris Comer, who was forced out of her job as Science head in the Texas Education Agency for forwarding an email announcement of a talk by Barbara Forrest in Austin, has filed her brief appealing the […]

TX “experts” and revision of the state Social Studies standards

Unlike school “Science,” the school subject(s) of “Social Studies” has no such well established recognized identity. If the Texas State Board of Education succeeds unchallenged in accepting people like David Barton to serve as “experts” on Social Studies, this reinforces the establishment of Social Studies as a school subject in which political, ideological, and religious agendas can be played out on the basis of sheer political power, unchecked by anything like the authority of experts in the disciplines.

the Comer decision: What “disputed issues”?

While awaiting news on whether the decision against Chris Comer’s suit against the TEA will be appealed, I have finally gotten around to reading the opinion by District Court Judge Lee Yeakel (not to be confused with the Simpson’s character). There’s a serious problem in the judge’s analysis (and the TEA’s argument), but to take […]