July 04, 2008
Comer sues the TEA

Remember Chris Comer, the former director of science curriculum for the Texas Education Agency (TEA) who was forced to resign over a bogus controversy concerning intelligent design? According to the Observer blog, she has now filed a lawsuit against her former employer.

The suit alleges that Comer's termination violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. What's interesting is how the suit reaches that conclusion:

1) Creationism is a religious belief

2) The Establishment Clause forbids the teaching of religion (read: creationism) in public schools. [The suit makes liberal reference to Kitzmiller v. Dover, the landmark 2005 case in which a conservative Bush-appointed judge rejected the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution.]

3) The Texas Education Agency has a tacit policy of "neutrality" on evolution vs. creationism.

4) The"neutrality" policy is in fact an endorsement of creationism - and religion - and is unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause.

5) Comer was fired for violating an unconstitutional policy.

Conclusion: "Comer's termination... violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution... because it has the purpose or effect of endorsing religion."

Yeah, that sounds like a big ol' can of worms being opened to me, too. The suit is here (PDF). Of potential interest is that the firm representing Comer is Patton Boggs, among whose attorneys are likely SD17 candidate Chris Bell. I don't think that has anything to do with anything, but I figured I'd mention it since I'm sure someone would have eventually. In any event, I can't wait to see how this one turns out. South Texas Chisme has more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 04, 2008 to The great state of Texas
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