On October 13, 2005, Jeanne Caldwell filed suit against two professors of the University of California at Berkeley, Roy Caldwell and David Lindberg, and against Michael Piburn, Program Director for the National Science Foundation. Drs. Caldwell and Lindberg are the principal designers and overseers of the University of California website Understanding Evolution, a collaborative project between the UC Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education. The site initially received partial funding by an NSF grant.
Jeanne Caldwell objected to statements on the website which point out the compatibility of evolution and religion, arguing that they conflicted with her religious beliefs and constituted government endorsement of a religious position, thus violating the Establishment Clause. She was represented by the Pacific Justice Institute and by her husband Larry, who had himself filed two suits concerned with teaching evolution earlier in the year.
On March 20, 2006, US District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton dismissed Ms. Caldwell's suit, ruling that she lacked taxpayer standing and had not asserted a concrete injury as a result of viewing the "Understanding Evolution" website. Ms. Caldwell appealed, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court's decision on October 3, 2008. Finally, the US Supreme Court declined without comment to review the case on March 23, 2009.
All the legal documentation available to us for this case is provided at the bottom of this page. It is arranged in chronological order.
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Timothy Sandefur, at The Panda's Thumb: Caldwell Asks Supreme Court to Take Frivolous Website Case