Caldwell v. Caldwell et al.

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.

Related NCSE Articles

News: Understanding Evolution lawsuit dismissed

News: Appeal of Understanding Evolution lawsuit dismissed

News: Understanding Evolution lawsuit over

Related Off-Site Material

Timothy Sandefur, at The Panda's Thumb: Caldwell Asks Supreme Court to Take Frivolous Website Case

10/13/05: Original Complaint2.76 MB
12/19/05: Defendants' memorandum supporting motion to strike145.23 KB
12/19/05: Defendants' memorandum in support of motion to dismiss1.39 MB
12/19/05: Defendants' request for judicial notice of motion to dismiss75.21 KB
12/19/05: Defendants' Motion to Dismiss74 KB
12/19/05: Defendants' notice of motion to strike69.2 KB
12/19/05: Defendants' proposed order granting motion to strike68.27 KB
1/5/06: Court orders on continuation of hearing on motion to dismiss728.51 KB
1/18/06: Plaintiffs' opposition to motion to strike110.42 KB
1/18/06: Plaintiffs' objection to request for judicial notice90.97 KB
1/18/06: Plaintiffs' opposition to motion to dismiss272.21 KB
1/25/06: Defendants' reply memorandum supporting judicial notice140.66 KB
1/25/06: Defendants' reply memorandum supporting motion to strike106.88 KB
1/25/06: Defendants' reply memorandum supporting motion to dismiss966.77 KB
2/8/06: Declaration of David Campbell, for defendants6.17 MB
2/8/06: Court order on footnotes11.03 KB
2/10/06: Defendants' request for judicial notice of motion ot dismiss1.81 MB
2/10/06: Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of standing156.08 KB
3/13/06: Court order granting motions to strike and dismiss57.56 KB
3/14/06: Plaintiff's motion for clarification of previous order93.13 KB
3/14/06: Court clarification of previous order69.24 KB
3/17/06: Defendants' opposition to motion for clarification132.33 KB
3/20/06: Court order granting motion to dismiss (and dismissing entire case)40.06 KB
3/20/06: Court clarification of previous order21.91 KB
3/21/06: Judgment16.28 KB
4/7/06: Plaintiff's statement of issues34.93 KB
4/7/06: Plaintiff's notice of appeal57.99 KB
4/15/06: Defendants' reply supporting motion to dismiss51.38 KB
9/18/08: Appeals court order denying defendants' request for judicial notice30.55 KB
10/03/08: Appeals court ruling affirming that of district court43.87 KB