Are Local Creationists, Texas Higher Ed Board Close to Ending Legal Fight Over Grad Degrees?
Maybe, maybe not. OK, probably not. But while I was on PACER this afternoon hunting down something unrelated, I thought I'd see if there'd been any resolution in the ongoing legal brouhaha involving Royal Lane-based Institute for Creation Research and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. For those in need of a recap: Ever since '07, the ICR's been trying to get the state board to let it hand out master's degrees in science. But in '08, the THECB said, "Um, no." To which the ICR said, "We'll see about that" and claimed, among other things, "viewpoint discrimination." Which, in April 2009, led to ICR filing an 80-page lawsuit in Dallas federal court. Then there were more filings, and the case was moved to down to Austin.
Now you're up to speed.
Turns out, though, there have been some significant developments in recent days. Such as: Last week the THECB filed a 31-page motion for summary judgment, in which it reiterates its position that ICR's "proposed program was founded upon fundamentalist religious, rather than scientific, principles." The motion, which includes a lengthy history of this particular lawsuit's evolution, follows. It was accompanied by thousands of pages of exhibits, including the 201-page deposition of THECB Commissioner Raymund Paredes, taken April 26, in which he explains why an initial report in support of the master's degree was later changed to a no-go. It too follows.
And only yesterday U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ordered both parties to get thee to back to the courthouse by no later than May 27 for a status conference. Among the topics on the to-discuss list: "motions pending; any further discovery requests; counsel and witness availability for trial; [and] settlement negotiations." Which may be wishful thinking.
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