COPE v. Kansas State BOE
Citizens for Objective Public Education, COPE, and three dozen individuals, many of whom are students, filed a complaint against the Kansas State Board of Education in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas in September 2013. The complaint contended that the Next Generation Science Standards, NGSS, and the Framework for K-12 Science Education (on which the NGSS are based) "will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview ... in violation of the Establishment, Free Exercise, and Speech Clauses of the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment" (pp. 1-2). The plaintiffs asked for a declaratory judgment in their favor and for an injunction prohibiting the implementation of the NGSS in Kansas or, failing that, an injunction prohibiting the implementation of the sections of the NGSS to which they object. On December 2, 2014, the court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the case. On December 30, 2014, the plaintiffs appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, filing their brief on March 20, 2015; the defendants filed their reply brief on July 8, 2015. in April 2016 the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court's dismissal. In May 2016, the plaintiffs unsuccessfully asked the appeals court to review the case en banc. In August 2016, the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court.