Kudos for Selman and Manely


Jeffrey Selman, the lead plaintiff in Selman et al. v. Cobb County School District et al., and Michael Manely, the Marietta, Georgia, lawyer who was the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, received the Mary Beth Tinker Award in Washington, D.C., on May 18, 2005. The award, presented by the Marshall-Brennan Fellowship Program of American University's Washington College of Law, "is given to individuals who stood up for and advanced the cause of students' rights in a meaningful way." It is named for the lead plaintiff in Tinker v. Des Moines School District, in which the Supreme Court affirmed that the First Amendment's Free Speech Clause extended to students in the public schools.

In August 2002, Selman and five other local parents, represented by Manely working with the American Civil Liberties Union, filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of a textbook disclaimer reading:
This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.
In his decision, issued on January 13, 2005, Judge Clarence Cooper ruled that the disclaimer violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The case is currently under appeal.