National Legal Organization Backs Coppedge Lawsuit Over Jet Propulsion Lab Discrimination Against Intelligent Design

Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a national legal organization whose allied attorneys have logged over 100 million dollars worth of pro bono hours of legal work, has issued a statement backing David Coppedge’s lawsuit against Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A recent article in the Christian Post reporting on the ADF news release summarizes Coppedge’s plight: Last March [2009], Coppedge was accused of “pushing religion” on his co-workers after he began engaging colleagues in conversations about intelligent design — a theory that life and the existence of the universe derive not from undirected material processes but from an intelligent cause — and offering DVDs on the subject when the co-worker expressed interest. His supervisor, Gregory Chin, allegedly received complaints from employees and threatened Read More ›

Is Pro-Intelligent Design Speech During Work Hours “Not Included” in Protections Against Discrimination?

In a recent post I explained why David Coppedge is alleging religious discrimination in his lawsuit against NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for shutting down his pro-intelligent design speech, even though intelligent design (ID) is science, not religion. In the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Professor Gary Williams of Loyola Law School (and former head of the Southern California ACLU) argued that even if ID is religion (or, as in Coppedge’s case, ID is labeled religion by JPL), that Coppedge’s lawsuit is weak: Certain kinds of religious activity are protected if they are not intrusive – such as wearing certain religious garb – but speech during work hours is not included, he said. So even if intelligent design is viewed as Read More ›

ACLU Lawyer and ScienceBloggers Make Off-Base Arguments Against Coppedge Case

A law professor from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles (who was previously elected head of the Southern California ACLU) was quoted in an article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune commenting on the David Coppedge’s lawsuit against Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL): “a case like his probably won’t have a shot in court, because courts have viewed intelligent design as a religious belief, rather than a scientific theory, according to Gary Williams, a professor at Loyola Law School.” This raises the question… Does it Matter to the Case Whether Intelligent Design is Religion? First, whether courts have or have not “viewed intelligent design as a religious belief” is irrelevant to Coppedge’s lawsuit. What matters is that, as the Coppedge v. Read More ›

Do the JPL Supervisors Who Demoted Coppedge Know Who Appears in The Privileged Planet?

The current travails of David Coppedge at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory hit close to home. He’s being unjustly, perversely punished simply for lending copies of two ID documentaries, Unlocking the Mystery of Life and The Privileged Planet, the latter based on the book by Guillermo Gonzalez and yours truly. Guillermo, of course, suffered similar bigotry at Iowa State a few years ago, and endured (among other things) a barely disguised campaign to deny him tenure led by, among other people, an atheist professor of religion at Iowa State. It’s hard even to figure out what David Coppedge is supposed to have done wrong. There were no complaints against him by people to whom he had lent these documentaries. He wasn’t Read More ›