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Stickers must go, says federal court


When Judge Clarence Cooper ruled that the evolution disclaimers in the Cobb County School District's textbooks were unconstitutional, he also ordered the stickers to be removed. Because of the time needed, he subsequently allowed the removal to be scheduled for the summer of 2005. Nevertheless, the Cobb County School District asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the order, pending its decision on the district's appeal of Selman. On May 3, 2005, a three-judge panel denied the Cobb County School District's request.

Speaking to the Marietta Daily Journal, Michael Manely, who, along with the ACLU, represented the plaintiffs at trial, commented, "It's the first serious nail in the coffin from the Court of Appeals. They are expressing their preliminary thoughts on the subject. This is like a preview of what is certain to come. It tells the board that this corpse is beginning to smell really bad." It is possible for the board to appeal the panel's decision to the full 11th Circuit, but the attorney representing the board did not respond to the Daily Journal's request for comment.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Selman is ready to help to remove the stickers, which invidiously describe evolution as "a theory, not a fact," from approximately 34,000 biology textbooks. "I'm going to offer to help take out the stickers," he told the Daily Journal. "I bet I can get a whole bunch of people to help them," Selman said. "God bless the judges. They can see right through this sham." Oral arguments in the appeal of Selman are expected to commence this summer, with a possible decision in the fall.