Seth Cooper and Leonard Brown have published an article entitled, “A Textbook Case of Judicial Activism: How a Pro-ID Publisher Was Denied its Day in Court,” which describes how the publisher of the textbook Of Pandas and People, Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE), was denied the right to become a party to the Kitzmiller trial despite the fact that its intellectual property rights were implicated in the lawsuit.
As background, the right of a party to “intervene” in a lawsuit is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24 (a):
(a) Intervention of Right. Upon timely application anyone shall be permitted to intervene in an action: (1) when a statute of the United States confers an unconditional right to intervene; or (2) when the applicant claims an interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action and the applicant is so situated that the disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the applicant’s ability to protect that interest, unless the applicant’s interest is adequately represented by existing parties.
The Kitzmiller complaint alleged that Of Pandas and People promoted an unconstitutional viewpoint which is “inherently religious,” and that it was published by FTE, a “Christian think-tank.” FTE, its textbook, and its textbook authors were all implicated in the complaint–and it seems “the disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the applicant’s ability to protect that interest.” Judge Jones felt that Dover would adequately represent FTE’s interests, but did they, and how did the decision impact the rights of FTE? To learn more, read Cooper and Brown’s entire article entitled, “A Textbook Case of Judicial Activism: How a Pro-ID Publisher Was Denied its Day in Court.”
(And stay tuned for the ID The Future Podcast interview with Seth Cooper discussing the article!)