You are here

Kitzmiller v. Dover Timeline

  • June 2004

    Dover Area School District (DASD) begins the process of selecting biology textbook. The town of Dover (population 1800) is located near York, Pennsylvania in the south-central part of the state. The DASD serves about 40,000 residents. Dover Senior High School has about 1000 students.

  • August 2, 2004
    After acrimonious debate, DASD school board votes 5-3 to select the widely used textbook Biology: The Living Science, by Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine, as recommended by science teachers.
  • October 2004
    50-60 copies of the "intelligent design book" Of Pandas and People donated anonymously to DASD
  • October 18, 2004
    By a 6-3 vote, DASD school board passes first segment of its “intelligent design” curriculum policy. Two school board members resign in protest.
  • November 19, 2004
    DASD issues press release explaining how policy is to be implemented.
  • December 14, 2004
    11 Dover parents filed suit in Federal District Court against the DASD on the grounds that these policies violate the First Amendment. They were represented by the Pennsylvania ACLU, Americans United, and Pepper Hamilton LLP. Initial Complaint (pdf)
  • January 2, 2005
    Defense files answer to complaint
  • January 2005
    DASD Letter to Parents regarding the Biology curriculum
  • February 2005
    DASD Biology Update Newsletter
  • Expert witnesses announced and statements filed

  • May 23, 2005
    Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) files “application to intervene.”
  • August 8, 2005
    Plaintiffs file for summary judgment
  • September, 13 2005
    Judge denies plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, sending the suit to trial.
  • September 26, 2005
    Bench trial before Judge John E. Jones begins in United States Federal District Court in Harrisburg, PA.
  • November 4, 2005
    Closing arguments given and trial concludes
  • December 20, 2005
    Judge Jones issues 139 page opinion finding that the DASD "intelligent design" policy violates the United States Constitution because "intelligent design" fundamentally represents a religious belief.
  • February 21, 2006
    DASD votes to pay more than $1 million toward legal fees incurred in course of the trial.