Creationist lawsuit against UC system to proceed

As expected, Association of Christian Schools International et al. v. Roman Stearns et al. -- the lawsuit in which the University of California system is charged with violating the constitutional rights of applicants from Christian schools whose high school coursework is deemed inadequate preparation for college -- is going to proceed. In a hearing in late July 2006, Judge S. James Otero stated that he was not inclined to rule in favor of a motion by the university system to dismiss the suit. Now, as the Los Angeles Times (August 9, 2006) describes, "In a 25-page ruling, Otero granted limited relief to the university, dismissing the lawsuit's allegations against several UC administrators in their individual capacities, among others. But he said he would allow Calvary Christian and the other plaintiffs to pursue their key claims against the public university system on the basis of constitutional protections to freedom of speech, association and religion." The case is expected to go to trial within a year.

Creationism is not the only issue involved in the case, to be sure. But creationism is involved, since the plaintiffs -- the Association of Christian Schools International, the Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta, California, and six students at the school, none of whom have been refused admission to the University of California -- object to the university system's policy of rejecting high school biology courses that use textbooks published by Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Books as "inconsistent with the viewpoints and knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community." One of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs is Wendell R. Bird, a former staff attorney for the Institute for Creation Research. As a special assistant attorney general for Louisiana, he defended the state's "equal time" law, which was ruled to be unconstitutional in Edwards v. Aguillard. He is the author of The Origin of Species Revisited, which compares evolution and a version of creationism he called "abrupt appearance."