FREEDOM TO ERR:
THE IDEA OF NATURAL SELECTION
IN POLITICS, SCHOOLS AND COURTS
Paul D. Carrington*
March 17, 2008
The biologists are surely correct who proclaim that “there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence.” But worthy of their salute is the wisdom of President Jefferson that “error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” Jefferson’s wisdom was apparently uttered in response to the division between Anglophiles and Francophiles that in 1801 seriously threatened the stability of the Republic he governed. His thought, however, now serves to call into question the quoted biologists’ next sentence stating that “i]t is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to ‘intelligent design,’ to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools.”
Especially questionable is the wisdom of elite federal courts acting on the advice of such eminent biologists to invoke the Constitution of the United States to suppress minor scientific heresies uttered in the education of adolescents by their parents or their parents’ surrogates. The tendency of leading scientists to depart from Jeffersonian tolerance of errors that reason might in time correct is a cause of needless conflicts between science and religious faith, and between the professional elite and citizens of lesser status, over the conduct of public education. The difficult task of managing such conflicts is one well left, insofar as possible, to parents, teachers, and the local school boards who represent them and, if necessary, to state boards of education, state law and state courts. The federal judiciary should be the last resort for attempts to dispose of disputes of such a profoundly intimate nature.
Perhaps intolerance of error is a trait nurtured in the professional training of scientists for it seems widespread. Biologist Sahotra Sarkar, for example, questions: “should the teaching of evolution be diluted in our biology classes? “ And he answers with certainty: “obviously not, if we want our science standards set high.” But high standards in science are not the only consideration to be taken into account in conducting public education of adolescents. Parents who desire to make marginal sacrifices in the quality of the biology instruction received by their adolescent children also have fundamental rights that deserve a reasonable measure of respect. And religious parents are not wrong to detect an anti-religious agenda in the utterances of some scientists and others who insist on the absolute value of science. The principle of natural selection does have deep implications other than its explanation of the evolution of species. It can threaten not only religious beliefs that parents are entitled to share with their offspring, but also other social and political values important to communities and to democratic government. For these reasons, state and local politicians are not wrong, or necessarily driven by improper religious impulses, when they express scientifically incorrect thoughts by seeking to add a grain of skepticism to the teaching of natural selection to adolescents required to attend public schools.
The Common School Idea
At the center of the current struggle between science and faith is the common school, an institutional idea to be briefly recalled here because its assimilating role is not always kept clearly in mind by the elite. Compulsory school attendance laws enacted in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries aimed to require religious instruction leading to correct moral behavior. But in the early decades of the 19th century, as common schools spread across the United States, diversity of beliefs and disbeliefs was a salient feature of the culture and was inevitably reflected in the governance of schools. Hostile feelings on a scale comparable to those exchanged today between scientists and those of strong faith often divided Protestant sects, never mind the sentiments they shared about faithless Quakers and their like.
The aim of their common schools, as stated by the eminent educator of that time, Horace Mann, was to provide an education “which every citizen of the State must receive as a necessary preparation for citizenship.” The development of moral character and a measure of patriotism were primary aims. That required at least a measure of reconciliation among those of diverse faiths and a fracturing, if possible, of class lines, much as the egalitarian rhetoric of the Revolution had promised. Literacy and an academic work ethic would be bestowed on children held in low esteem on account of their illiterate parentage, and many could prosper. And moral education not dependent on religious training would encourage virtuous conduct respectful of the rights and status of fellow citizens. Such moral discipline resulting in the practice of civic virtue, it was widely observed, is useful not only “to the interests of society, but for the welfare of the individual himself.”
The radical 19th century American “barnburners” who favored social equality prevailed in their demand that “free schools” be locally governed and thus subject to a measure of indirect parental control. Mistrust of distant government abides in contemporary America: voters still favor local control. The vision was and is that dutiful parents with better trained and more accomplished children should share their children’s preparation with that of their less accomplished neighbors, to the benefit of all, including even those members of the community having no children.
The teacher was, among other things, a broker in this communitarian transaction. He or she left the nurturing of diverse faiths, even those faiths promising posthumously to reward good conduct in school, to the churches and Sunday schools. Mann cautioned teachers to avoid controversy and teach only those principles that are universally approved. But the teacher was nevertheless responsible for the development of discipline fitting students for their role in society, a task not so very different from religious instruction. That expectation fit well with the diverse state laws explicitly directing that church and state be separate, but did not prevent teachers from thinking of themselves as “God’s gardeners” or making use of generally accepted biblical dogma.
It was not until the 20th century that states came to require attendance at high school. Early high schools had been few and small, in part because enrollment was not required of adolescents who were old enough to work. An alignment of labor leaders and advocates for improvement in the human condition created a demand for more years of school attendance, and public high schools began to spread. It was in that era that schools acquired a technocratic aspect featuring professionally trained teachers overseen by professional superintendents responsible for “rational systems of education.” And state agencies emerged to oversee the superintendents and local boards. “Teacher knows best” became a principle accepted by many parents who hoped and expected that professional teachers would prepare their children for a future requiring not only sound morals but some form of technical competence in which scientific discipline might be an element. The idea of communitarian responsibility and control faded, but it did not disappear. It was expressed by Judge Alex Kozinski in 2006, thus:
[T]ime spent in school . . . has a significant impact on [a] student’s development. The school environment forces students both to compete and cooperate. . . . Schoolmates often become friends, rivals and romantic partners. . . . Schools . . . don’t simply prepare students for further education . . . good schools prepare students for life, by instilling skills and attitudes that will serve them long after their first year in college.
As the professionalism of teachers grew, they did not abandon their connections to the parents of their students or their communities. And still as John Dewey, the leading theorist of his profession, acknowledged, the conduct of public instruction remained an art, not a technology.  As recently as 1948, the Supreme Court was able to declare that "the public school is at once the symbol of our democracy and the most pervasive means for promoting our common destiny." Indeed, other wise observers have emphasized the importance of the public school as an emblem of our shared destiny. Hannah Arendt could affirm that “education plays a different role and politically incomparably more important role in America than in other countries.”
If believers and disbelievers were to share a common destiny, it was not in the public interest to concentrate attention on the principle of natural selection and its implications. Perhaps this was a consideration in the mind of those who wrote or selected the books that the schools and professional teachers used to teach botany and zoology in the progressive era of the early 20th century. Those books generally presented the idea of natural selection as an explanation for the differences among species, but did not elaborate the idea.
Alas, while public high schools became universal in America in the early decades of the 20th century, they proved over time to be “an imperfect panacea.” As natural scientists were confirming the reality of natural selection, social scientists were revealing disappointing facts regarding the learning processes of children. The available data tend to confirm the importance for most school children of parental support and peer-group pressure. Classroom teaching is still in the 21st century, as Dewey affirmed, an art; teachers matter, but it is not entirely clear how. Standardized testing to judge the teacher’s work is a crude tool that may even impede the efforts of some teachers and schools to engage their students in sharing diverse interests (e.g., art and music) in ways that reward them for their attentive study and knowledge and reinforce appropriate moral standards.
Many 20th century parents anticipated what such data revealed. Prosperous parents often made decisions securing for their children neighborhood peer groups suited to reinforce their parental efforts to get their children to learn. The suburban independent school district was a device for selling countless real estate developments to parents willing to pay to assure their children of contact with neighbor children of other prosperous, caring families and to diminish their exposure to less worthy peers growing up in urban areas. And better students and parents tended to attract better professional teachers, especially if they were more highly compensated by the more elite school districts. As a result, public schools were complicit in divisions of class and became targets of vigorous criticism by observers on the political left.
Elite private academies and boarding schools marketed the same sort of benefits as the suburban school districts, mostly to those parents able to pay. And Catholics maintained a separate school system wherever they could, not only to flee prejudice and reinforce the faiths of Catholic children, but to secure the support of a congenial peer group that would assist teachers of faith in inducing one another to learn. This practice of those of Catholic faith was not everywhere approved; Oregon was not the only state to require public school attendance as a means of securing assimilation of diverse cultures and religions, but its law was held unconstitutional in 1925.
Notwithstanding the continuing pressures of sub-cultural differences, there have been some stunning successes of urban public schools in imparting literacy, basic intellectual skills, and a sense of engagement in their larger community to millions of immigrant children. The public schools of New York City and Honolulu may, for examples, merit special recognition in this regard, although they were more successful in educating children of some immigrant cultures than others. And nowhere in America was there an absence of secondary school students who emerged from the experience “thoroughly trained in failure.”
The need for socialization to civic virtue is in no way diminished by the recent growth of both legal and illegal immigration. Differences of language and religion are greater than ever, and assimilation in greater need. But in recent decades, the public schools have been afflicted with additional impediments to achieving their goals. Working mothers or single parents attend fewer PTA meetings and spend less time with children than did their homemaker forebears. Yet it remains true that “the school is a weak institution compared with the home.” And while this change in families results in greater dependence on the talents and energies of teachers, there may be more market competition for those traits, making it more difficult to attract into their profession in sufficient numbers those with the relevant intellectual and social skills, whatever those might precisely be. And there is the reality that 21st century American children spend more time watching television or playing computer games than they spend in school. Partly in response to these impediments, class sizes have been reduced dramatically to enhance the influence of teachers on their students, while state and federal governments have presumed to exercise more controls, often in the form of standardized tests intended to hold teachers accountable for their results.
In 1990, charter schools were devised to empower some public school parents in the selection of the specialized common school best suited to serve their children. Choice has not proved to be a magic cure. And privatization of the purposes of education threatens the ability of schools to achieve the public aim of linking children to their community.
Also in the 1990s, there was a movement to establish more rigorous national academic standards to be implemented by state governments. This initiative drew heavily on standardized testing of the sort devised to choose military personnel in World War I. While many state boards became more aggressive in imposing standards, the movement in Washington foundered when those responsible for the American history standards suffocated their subject in political correctness. Despite these reforms, measurable academic skills of students have not notably improved and are low by international standards.
It is both a cause and effect of the decline in the success of public schools that parents in increasing numbers seek alternatives. Local private schools flourish in many communities. Vouchers subventing private schools are advocated as a total displacement of the common school. And perhaps a million children are home-schooled. An important source of this widespread parental mistrust is the hostility of “the Christian right” to teaching that is seen to weaken the religious faith of students and thus weaken moral constraints that parents may wish to impose on their children’s conduct. It is this social context that those responsible for public education must confront when addressing the political problem of conflicting heresies.
To share that responsibility, there remain the state and local school boards established by every state government in the 19th century to marshal community support for their schools by affording them a measure of participation in governance and assuring a measure of accountability of the schools to the public they serve, a group that includes all citizens, not just parents. Local board members are in most places elected to serve their modest political role without compensation. Traditionally in most states, local boards exercised a power to tax local property to fund their program, a power generally limited by the requirement that local taxes be approved by the local voters. Local millage elections were occasions for recruiting the support of parents and fellow citizens as taxpayers. State legislatures also came to provide additional funds and special programs for orphans or the disabled; and the state boards were established to provide a measure of accountability for local boards. But local school politics remained everywhere a device for enlisting support for the teaching mission of the publicly financed schools.
If parents are concerned that the teaching of science will weaken their relationship with, and influence over, their children, state and local school politicians are not wrong to address their concerns. Especially so if the realistic alternative for board members is to witness the withdrawal from their public institutions of more able students from supportive families, and withdrawal of their support for public finance of schools. It is no service to science to cause many able and well-supported students to leave the common schools and their classmates behind at ill-supported and beleaguered centers of a dropped-out culture.
The Federal Presence in Public Schools
Until recent times, the federal presence in public education was slight. In 1923, the Supreme Court first began to read the federal Constitution as conferring individual rights on citizens against their state governments. But not until 1947 did the Court first detect that the Fourteenth Amendment ratified in 1868 extended the First Amendment’s prohibition on the establishment of religion by Congress to apply to local public schools. The Court has for the subsequent six decades sought to deter conduct of school boards that can be identified and prohibited as efforts to propagate a religious faith. Thus, it has held that teachers may not preach or pray in class, for such activities are said to serve only evangelical aims to elevate faith, even if the moment of prayer is a moment of silence. In assigning this task of detecting religious or anti-religious motives to federal courts, it is well to recall, the Court was duplicating a task previously assigned to state courts by their state constitutions. No American state permits itself to establish a religion.
In 1968, the Court held that the Arkansas state law forbidding the teaching of evolution was an establishment of religion and hence invalid under federal law. This decision was rendered notwithstanding the fact that Arkansas had made no effort to enforce its hortatory law. The Court explained that “The State's undoubted right to prescribe the curriculum for its public schools does not carry with it the right to prohibit, on pain of criminal penalty, the teaching of a scientific theory or doctrine where that prohibition is based upon reasons that violate the First Amendment.” And in 1987, the Court detected that the Louisiana law requiring equal time for creation science and evolution science was also an impermissible effort to establish a religion.
The Court has also proclaimed other rights that students and parents may exercise at school. Students have a right to wear arm bands protesting an ongoing war. And they have a right to refuse to salute the flag if they do so for religious reasons. Parents have a right to disobey compulsory attendance laws for religious reasons. Presumably parents are also entitled for religious reasons to restrain their children from enrolling in science classes. And it would seem that parents are free to place regalia on their children when attending biology class that would serve to symbolize their skepticism about the reach of natural selection.
School boards and their members presumably also have First Amendment rights. They are not themselves teachers of children and cannot in the first person effectively propagate a religious faith. As David Tyack has explained, their “key job . . . is to help communities achieve a sense of common ground in the education of children.” As politicians they have almost no direct contact with children. And like judges they have virtually no direct influence on the thoughts or beliefs of others. As individuals, they surely have the same freedom of religious expression as other politicians. Just as Presidential candidates publicly profess a faith of some kind, so must many citizens standing for election to a local school board. It may be bad politics, but it is not a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to pray at a local school board meeting. And the utterances of state or local boards are, like other laws, often results of compromises that serve multiple purposes including moral ones that in the minds of voting members may have some religious connections. That a board member admits to having a religious faith that he or she considers in fashioning school policy does not alone make a board’s action an effort to establish a religion. In finding that state “balanced treatment laws” violate the First Amendment, the Court did not notice that those laws left the teacher free to manifest disdain for the one or the other. And recent decisions of the Court on the constitutional rights of judicial candidates to make campaign promises regarding legal issues pending before their courts might reasonably be taken to suggest similar rights for those seeking or exercising office as elected members of state or local school boards, and who presume to be voices for their communities. Even if what they say is scientifically incorrect.
A common difficulty is the selection of science textbooks. This is usually a matter for teachers and local school administrators. Texts may be challenged as heretical either by scientists on one side or by ministers of faith on the other. The consequences of such choices cannot wisely be ignored by those responsible for the conduct of public schools and the winning of parental and public support for those institutions. But the Court has invoked the Fourteenth Amendment to limit the freedom of state and local institutions to choose the wrong books if their choices can be seen to have a religious-missionary motive, while leaving aside the possibility that some intellectuals advocating intense training on natural selection might be at least partly motivated by an ambition to suppress the fundamentalist Protestant faith as anti-scientific.
As previously noted, to the extent that the First Amendment applies to the conduct of public schools, it is in large measure redundant to the state constitutions that also guarantee freedom of religion. When the deeds and utterances of school politicians engaged in the task of resolving conflicting heresies must be questioned for possibly crossing the subtle line between legitimate public expression and the illicit establishment of religion, there are benefits to resolving disputes in state courts in accordance with state law. State court decisions are more likely to reflect the political realities of local circumstances and perhaps to gain the acceptance of local citizens. And state law is, unlike the federal Constitution, plausibly subject to possible revision when a court gets it wrong. When the Louisiana Balanced Treatment Act was challenged in federal court, the United States Court of Appeals prudently certified to the Supreme Court of Louisiana the question whether the statute at issue violated the Louisiana constitution. That court held that it did not. Only then was the issue posed by the federal Constitution considered. That was a prudent move; more moves like it should be made.
Even taking account of these earlier applications of the First Amendment, the federal government had played only a very minor role in governing public education until 1954 when the Court decided Brown v. Board of Education. That decision applied the clear text of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that Justices had not previously had the courage to enforce. Brown was an explicit endorsement of the communitarian premise of public education in its requirement that no child be excluded from the local school on racial grounds. But the enforcement of the principle in a thousand local school districts unsurprisingly proved to be beyond the power of the federal judges and their marshals. A division of paratroopers got the job done in Little Rock, but that school then closed for a time. The active engagement of the Department of Justice in enforcing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the religiously rooted moral teaching of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference led by Martin Luther King, Jr. were both indispensable to the result of school desegregation achieved by 1974. And despite much judicial rhetoric and many reforms, class and racial differences in school populations continue to blight countless schools and districts.
In 1959, in response to the Soviet missile program, Congress funded the Biological Science Curriculum Study that resulted in the publication of new textbooks for high school biology. All emphasized the importance of evolution and natural selection. It was the insistence of a teacher at Little Rock Central High on the use of one of those books that led her to seek and secure the declaratory judgment that the unenforced Arkansas law forbidding the teaching of evolution was an unconstitutional threat to her freedom of expression.
In 1965, the federal treasury began to provide federal funds to local schools burdened with local children of impoverished parents. But the sad lesson learned was that spending federal money did not help much. Reduction in class size helped somewhat, but even in small classes families and peers generally have more influence on the development of adolescents than their teachers. The earlier federal funding program was replaced in 2001 by the No Child Left Behind scheme that links federal funding to standardized testing and rewards teachers whose students achieve higher scores. But, alas, there is serious doubt that the teachers so rewarded will be able significantly to alter the overall performance of their public schools’ students. And the moral education they provide may even be impaired by this utopian federal scheme.
As noted, there was an anti-communitarian initiative in Washington in the 1990s to encourage the general elevation of academic standards. Most recently, in 2007, the Supreme Court forsook the communitarian premise when it invoked the Equal Protection Clause to deny community schools in Seattle and Louisville the right to pursue admission policies designed to bridge racial divides in their communities and teach their children to live with and respect those of a different pigmentation. But that decision surely does not withhold the rights of local citizens to engage in school politics designed to bridge the divide between religious and agnostic citizens.
At whatever level of government the matter is considered, science and religion have not gotten along very well. The 1859 work of Charles Darwin has been a subject of dispute among parents, clergymen, and teachers for the last century and a half, but he was far from the first scientist to challenge the history of man recorded in the Book of Genesis. The study of astronomy, geology and paleontology had previously made it clear to anyone who cared to know that the Biblical account was at best poetry, not reality. Even the idea that species had evolved was already a familiar notion. Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was but an item in an ongoing debate over the relationship between humans and apes. His important contribution to that debate was the idea of natural selection, i.e., that species can and do over generations of reproduction adapt to their situations. But even his account of natural selection as the means of evolution barely preceded that of similar work by another British naturalist then working in Indonesia.
Darwin had postponed his publication because he was anxious about the reaction to his theory. Although he drew on the gloomy economist Thomas Malthus for the hypothesis to which he applied the data available to him, he did not advance the political use of the idea of natural selection to justify market economics and its reward of brutal greed as the inevitable outcome of nature. That use of his idea as “social Darwinism”, was originally drawn also from the work of Herbert Spencer, and was popularized in America in the late 19th century to celebrate the prosperities of the Gilded Age with Spencer’s phrase, “the survival of the fittest.” Never mind the condition of workers, farmers, and others who had been less well selected, social Darwinists taught; their fates had been sealed by nature and could not be helped. And the great American botanist Louis Agassiz was not alone in invoking the idea as an explanation of racial inferiority and an excuse for racial segregation.
Thus, Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton, after contemplating the genes of geniuses, was inspired to lead a movement of eugenics that planned to improve the human condition by sterilizing those with disadvantageous genes. His proposal won the approval of many elite Americans including Woodrow Wilson, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, leading many American states in the early years of the 20th century to enact laws calling for the compulsory sterilization of individuals deemed to have flawed genes.  The Supreme Court of Indiana held its state’s law invalid under the state constitution. But the Supreme Court of the United States found sufficient scientific justification for such laws that it held the Virginia law to be no violation of the federal Constitution.
In short, diverse brutalities have been defended as inevitable consequences of natural selection. Such ideas tended to fall into disfavor when they became closely associated with German Nazism. But some elite scientists continue to favor more limited use of genetic data to mandate abortions of defective fetuses. And the idea of natural selection as an ultimate truth abides in the minds of many Americans who choose to attribute their elite status to their natural superiority.
And although Darwin’s own faith was weakening by 1859, he never shared the atheism sometimes rooted in the idea of natural selection and so vigorously advanced in recent times by Richard Dawkins and others reluctant to acknowledge that at the end of any scientific inquiry will always remain another mystery to be explained, possibly as the work of a Creator. Who or what caused the Big Bang?
Evolution and natural selection did not disturb the religious convictions of those who regarded their religious texts less as a realistic account of the history or future of life on earth, and more as poetry shared by coreligionists as comforting art and as moral instruction. Much of humanity was found in the latter category, in part because the world’s religious texts other than those of Christianity, Judaism and Islam lack any specific explanations of the origins of life that could conflict with the idea of evolution. And the idea of natural selection was easily assimilated by many Christian leaders. Decades before Darwin, many citizens of Protestant religious faiths contemplated and accepted the evolution of life over millennia and sought comfort in the idea that at least some forms of life were too complex not to have been designed by a benign Creator. And numerous works of those professing Christian faith reconciled Darwin’s teaching with that of Christ. Those of Jewish faith and most of those of Islamic faiths also seem to have worked out the problem. The Catholic Church accommodated evolution in all its forms by the simple device of declaring the invisible human soul to be excluded from its operation. This was less painful because that church hierarchy was empowered to alter the shared faith to accord to its understanding.
But for many Protestants who have been assured since the time of Martin Luther of their competence to read their sacred text for themselves, it was and is seriously disturbing to be informed that their literal reading of the holy text on which the moral instruction of their children is rooted is factually incorrect. And it is also seriously discomforting to many who do ungratifying work for a living to be informed that their labor is their destiny and will be that of children who are afflicted with their unfortunate genes. In a social order proclaiming its commitment to equal rights and equal opportunities to all, the idea of natural selection, if taken to its extremes, is heretical. Pollsters tell us that half the population of the United States reject it.
It was for that reason that the Great Commoner, William Jennings Bryan, came openly in 1920 to reject the idea. By that time, most adolescents were attending public high school and were reading science texts. Bryan had come to see belief in natural selection and social Darwinism not only as a demoralization of those who have to work for a living and a proposed justification for severe class distinctions, but also as a false justification for eugenic brutality, imperialism and global warfare. Politicians sharing his opinions had by 1920 enacted laws in at least six states with large populations of ardent Protestant believers that absolutely prohibited the teaching of evolution in their public schools.
The issue was dramatically presented in the celebrated Scopes “monkey trial” trial held in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925. The case had been prosecuted in response to the initiative of the then-new American Civil Liberties Union that sought to challenge the constitutionality of Tennessee’s law prohibiting the use in public schools of science books advancing the idea of evolution. Its leadership persuaded Scopes, a local athletic coach who sometimes tutored students in biology to proclaim over lunch at the community drug store his right to use a book advancing Darwin’s truth. He was duly prosecuted at the urging of local business leaders who saw that a dispute on that big issue might be a way of putting little Dayton on the map. Bryan agreed to come to Dayton to assist the prosecution. The celebrated Clarence Darrow was recruited to represent the defendant, and contend that the law in question violated the Tennessee and federal constitutions. The trial was broadcast on national radio, at the time a novelty attracting many listeners. Bryan improvidently agreed to serve not only as assistant prosecutor but as a witness who would explain the origins of life to the jury. His inability under cross-examination by Darrow to make rational sense of the religious faith he advanced as a justification for the law was personally humiliating to him. The experience may have been a contributing cause of Bryan’s death a few days after the trial concluded. While Scopes was nevertheless convicted by the jury, his conviction was later reversed by the Supreme Court of Tennessee on a technicality, but not without dicta proclaiming the constitutional power of the state to punish the teaching of irreverence by those in its employment. Scopes’ case would three decades later become the subject of the Broadway play Inherit the Wind, and then in 1965 of a popular movie; both treated Bryan with disdain. These events seem, at least for a time, to have diminished the interest of local school boards and prosecutors in enforcing the states’ laws forbidding teachers from explaining evolution to children or using textbooks that presumed to do so. And in 1968 the Supreme Court at last resolved the specific issue presented in Scopes as a matter of federal constitutional law, declaring that the public school biology teacher in Arkansas has a First Amendment right to use a text informing her students of the teaching of Charles Darwin, and of the evidence tending to confirm the principle of evolution.
But the conflict between the science of life and fundamentalist faith intensified by stages as ongoing scientific investigations tended to confirm the process of natural selection and secure the absolute confidence of scientists. Reinforcement of Darwin’s hypothesis came steadily from the fossil record, the details of morphology, biogeography, genetics, and molecular analysis. As a result, there are few if any respected scientists who question the validity of Darwin’s point that species can and do adapt from one generation to the next to meet the situations of their time and place.
But fundamentalist Protestants continue to revile natural selection as an evil theory calling into question the existence of their omnipotent and benign God who might punish their sins and reward their deserving conduct. In the minds of some persons of faith, the story of how God made Man in His image is still not merely an artistic answer to life’s mystery, but is linked to the expectation of Armageddon, the day of divine judgment on their behavior, and thus a vision affording citizens and their children an inducement to restrain from misconduct. There is indeed some evidence that such faith can serve to deter anti-social conduct; while our public prisons have generally despaired of preventing recidivism, religious instruction does achieve some measurable results. To minds committed to such faith and its reforming effects, the idea of natural selection not only threatened to liberate adolescents from family relationships, but to free them to do evil, including such misdeeds as drug use, alcohol abuse, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, and dropping out of school.
There also remained an element of reverse class prejudice: persons who have not participated in higher education or elite professional training, who perhaps rightly feel threatened by the globalization of the economy, who may share a measure of resentment against those more highly educated professionals who are more highly compensated for their less onerous services, and who have less to fear and even perhaps much to gain from globalization. This is not to say that academic arrogance with respect to these matters is a new phenomenon. John Dewey observed in 1924:
There is a considerable class of influential persons, enlightened and liberal in technical, scientific, and religious matters, who are only too ready to make use of appeal to authority, prejudice, emotion, and ignorance to serve their purposes in political and economic affairs. Having done whatever they can do to debauch the habit of the public mind in these respects, they then sit back in amazed sorrow when this same habit of mind displays itself violently with regard, say, to the use of established methods of history and literary interpretations of the scriptures or with regard to the animal origins of man. 
Christopher Lasch described our contemporary culture as a revolt of the elite against the moral values of those who vote, pay taxes, bear and raise children, and provide the arms for defense. Such a revolt cannot be prudent.
Evidence suggests that such conflicts of academic class are most likely to arise in communities that are undergoing demographic change. A rural community being transformed into a suburb inhabited by the professional elite may be especially likely to find its schools a battleground between believers and disbelievers who revere hard science and are untroubled by the idea of natural selection. Thomas Frank explains the view of conservative working-class Kansans:
[T]his science establishment may be the most turf-conscious, credential-flaunting, undiplomatic bunch of pedagogues in all of academia. Provoke them, and they inevitably pull rank on you. Get them to do their high-hat, critic-squashing routine against some nice unassuming Kansans . . . and you have set up a war pitting humble, God-fearing, blue-collar folk against an arrogant intellectual elite. . .
The scornful utterances of the noted Richard Dawkins might serve as an example of such “high-hat critic-squashing.” Or as a form of extremism well calculated to evoke the rage of those to whom it is addressed. Less scornful but no less intolerant of religious faith in conflict with evolution is the elegantly presented account of Science, Evolution, and Creationism published in 2008 by the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine. The point of class difference reflected in that publication is also made by Edward Larson who describes the Pyramid of Disbelief; evidence confirms that persons higher in academic status are very likely to reject the idea of a God who might respond to prayer, while those of lesser status may maintain a measure of faith. They are also reflected in a sympathetic yet patronizing work addressed to a fundamentalist minister by the celebrated scientist E.O. Wilson. Notwithstanding the more polite but firm manner of the National Academy publication, there is very little prospect that such expressions by scientists will in the slightest degree change the minds of those who cling to literal readings of the holy text and reject virtually all that science teaches about the origins of life, and who retain their right to vote and participate in the governance of public education.
Thus, many cling to the theory that the earth is not more than 8,000 years old and its geology can be largely explained by The Flood. They have enlisted the support of scholars well-trained in science who teach creation science at diverse colleges governed by those of fundamentalist faiths. Museums recording Genesis have appeared. Thus, in May 2007, the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky opened to depict the history of man. Adam and Eve are there; the latter, we are told, resembles the Brazilian supermodel, Gisele Bündchen. The museum is well-attended despite a hefty twenty dollar admission fee. It is selling an idea no less heretical to science than is the idea of natural selection heretical to the fundamentalist Protestants who patronize such museums. The display disregards the geology and biogeography that refute it.
Those of this “young-earth” faith who are offended by the science that questions their readings of biblical texts have been growing in number in recent decades. One marker of this development is the popularity of the work of Tim LaHaye, now said to be the most widely read American novelist, whose works may be seen to encourage readers to prepare for Armageddon by contrasting the rapture to be experienced by believers with the horrors to be experienced by the disbelievers who will “be left behind” to be punished by God. LaHaye and his followers tend to dismiss the science of life as a distraction from sound morals as well as correct beliefs.
The conflict between science and fundamentalist faith has also been magnified in recent times by the advent of state regulation of the science curriculum and standardized testing used to evaluate schools and teachers. Such standards and testing, first encouraged by the federal government in the 1990s are now strongly favored by the previously mentioned federal law stressing that “no child should be left behind” with low test scores. At least in some states, the failure of high school graduates to comprehend evolution may be taken as a sign of professional incompetence of their science teachers or even of a need to reduce public funding for their low-scoring school. Should “no child be left behind” in his or her understanding of the origins of life, as may be required by the federal law bearing the same name as some of Tim LaHaye’s work? The question was discussed but not resolved by Senators debating the federal enactment.
An earnest effort to resolve the conflict was the advancement of the doctrine of intelligent design, alternatively presented as the theory of abrupt appearance. That doctrine adapts the 19th century idea that complex creatures must in their forms embody the ideas of God, at least when one focuses attention on the “irreducible complexities” of cell biology, if they appear suddenly among the evolving forms of life. The idea is generally comforting to those who believe in a ubiquitous and omnipotent God, but who are willing and even eager to adapt their faith to scientific realities if only those realities can be made to accommodate a useful belief in God that cares about their conduct and that of their children. That seems to include many Protestants.
But intelligent design is not nearly satisfactory to the young-earth creationists who seek confirmation of the imminent Second Coming of Christ. Nor does it gain any acceptance from scientists who demand evidence. The idea relies on the fact that available data does not exclude the possibility that some steps in the evolutionary process were abrupt and therefore not the result of natural selection but of divine intervention. It offers no hypothesis to be examined by active inquiry. Some adherents to the doctrine of intelligent design are trained scientists holding academic appointments, but all but a few of these scientists are found at fundamentalist Christian colleges. Their teaching is regarded as heretical by most scientists of academic repute. Michael Behe, one scientist who advances intelligent design, responded in 2007 to the skepticism of scientists with yet another argument for intelligent design based on his study of sickle cells and the malaria parasites. But he remains in a very small group of persons trained in science who take the issue seriously.
Yet President Ronald Reagan was elected on a campaign promise to appoint federal judges who would not “expel God from the classroom.” President George W. Bush and some candidates for the Presidency in 2008 joined in supporting the contention that the theory of intelligent design should be taught to public high school students along with the theory of natural selection. Despite its political base, many scientists and other persons of professional status are irate at the suggestion that a public institution might advance even the more moderate heresy of intelligent design to accommodate mere religious beliefs of parents.
The Supreme Court has never had occasion to consider the alternative right to academic freedom of a public school science teacher who, contrary to school board policy or state law, seeks to discount Darwin and advance an alternative biblical vision of the origins of life, or who insists on questioning the theory of evolution, much less the biology teacher who expresses doubt and acknowledges that empiricism has not answered every possible doubt. In 2005, it was reported that perhaps as many as one American science teacher in four gives “moderate emphasis” to the creationist belief that God created the universe, and perhaps as few as a third “emphasize evolution.” This reality confirms that classroom teachers are more sensitive to the moral and intellectual state of students and their parents than are the elite who have persuasively demonstrated that intelligent design is not science. Their practice accepts the direction of Thomas Mann that controversy about such matters is wisely avoided by teachers who serve parents and children.
Although commonplace, the problem with such deferential teaching is real. It has been well stated by University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann:
The religions that reject evolution as a valid scientific theory also reject the secular standards of reasoning that make evolution clearly superior as a theory to creationism. Only by putting religious faith above reason can someone believe that the entire fossil record . . . was created at the time of the Great Flood. . . . The distinctly democratic problem with teaching creationism stems from the fact that it is believable only on the basis of sectarian faith.
Of course, the biology class in a public school cannot be a sermon or a religious ritual without violating the constitution of perhaps every state as well as the federal Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. But “secular standards of reasoning” are not constitutionally de rigeur in public schools. As the Court long ago proclaimed, our “law knows no heresy, and is committed to the support of no dogma, the establishment of no sect.” Surely much has been taught in public schools (and private ones as well) over the last two centuries, in classes on literature, history, and social science, that did not meet the secular standards of its time. Or even come close. It cannot be unconstitutional to be imperfect in imparting standards of reasoning. Non-rational citizens also have rights under the First Amendment and analogous provisions of state constitutions.
The University of California has adopted an admissions policy that takes the position of Gutmann as stated above to the point of aggressive intolerance of error. The University has undertaken to regulate the teaching of science in private schools in its state. These schools have been established to serve parents many of whom may have moved their children out of public high schools to avoid the (to them) heretical preoccupation of biology texts and teachers with natural selection. The University policy denies credit for admissions purposes for courses in which students are assigned to read books that the University admissions office disapproves as anti-scientific. The policy is applied even to humanities courses using forbidden texts. The Association of Christian Schools International has brought the matter to the attention of a federal court. But why is this not a matter better left, at least in the first instance, to the courts and constitution of the state of California? The issues presented require consideration of local circumstances and political motives resulting from those circumstances. The judiciary of California is generally better qualified to examine those circumstances and motives than are those exercising federal jurisdiction. And if the state court gets it wrong, those who are disappointed are not without recourse, including even the possibility of amending the state constitution.
In 2008, it appears that the University of California case will go to trial in federal court. To be sure, this is no book burning, but it does manifest a major source of the growing problem. Is there no room in a great university for students, however intelligent and resourceful they may be, if they bring to the academic table some flawed ideas about the origins of man? Is even standardized testing really an insufficient measure of the quality of those private academies and their graduates? Could the admissions office not devise some other less intrusive means of assuring itself that freshmen entering the university are not committed to an erroneous view of the origins of life? O, Jefferson!
Or contrast the even greater rigidity and intolerance of the Texas Education Agency that in 2007 fired its director of science for forwarding to science teachers an e-mail message containing a recent lecture given locally on evolution and creationism. It was explained that the agency required absolute neutrality on the dispute between evolutionists and creationists, and it was therefore intolerable to have a science director who would side against creationism or intelligent design. But she had not endorsed the lecture she circulated and had been accustomed to circulating all manner of material of current interest to science teachers. The elected Texas Board of Education will consider in February 2008 possible revisions of its standards for high school biology courses that presently require students to know the theory of evolution and be able to “illustrate the results of natural selection in speciation, diversity, phylogeny, adaptation, behavior and extinction.” The chair presiding over that reconsideration is a citizen who teaches Sunday school at the Grace Baptist Church and lectures on intelligent design.
Pointing in the same direction of creationist sympathies is the tentative decision of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to allow the Institute for Creation Research to offer an on-line master’s degree in science education. The New York Times was not wrong to question the dismissal of the director, but it may have overborne its point in editorializing about the possible need “to save Texas from a retreat into the darker ages.” The parents of Texas school children do have rights deserving the respect even of the elite editors. If Texas high school biology teachers were to suggest that their knowledge of the origins of life is incomplete and were to speak of evolution as a “theory” not a “fact,” and might thereby blunt the conflict between science and faith, would that be a retreat into the darker ages, and be a matter of appropriate concern to the editors of the New York Times?
An acknowledgment of the modest theory of intelligent design in a public high school biology class or the refusal to make any such acknowledgment on the ground that intelligent design is “snake oil” is one best resolved by state and local governments. If and when a local school board is allowed by state law to require the teaching of Genesis as a chapter of high school biology, it would then perhaps be time for a federal court properly to consider the application of the Fourteenth Amendment. Meanwhile, we may consider three recent federal cases as examples of matters better left to state courts and state constitutions.
Public School Politics in Federal Court
A problem with the Court’s jurisprudence on the subject of science teaching is its preoccupation with the legislative purposes of politicians. Those purposes, like many of our purposes, are often at best opaque. The Court has directed federal courts to be “particularly vigilant in monitoring compliance with the Establishment Clause in elementary and secondary schools” politics because “particular concerns arise in that context.” Federal courts, including the Court itself, might better be particularly vigilant in remembering that parents, teachers, and school children also have rights. After all, the text of the federal Constitution does not speak to the issue and the law they make is virtually invulnerable to amendment, leaving the polity with an enduring source of instability. For those reasons, they might also do well to recall the oft-repeated advice of Justice Brandeis emphasizing the wisdom of allowing states to experiment by finding their own ways and making or fixing their own mistakes.
Public schools do, indeed, present “particular concerns” because they are so heavily dependent on the acceptance and approval of the parents and local communities they serve. And, as noted, it is the business of the politicians on school boards to marshal the needed support. The federal judiciary is an impediment to the conduct of public education when it presumes to constrain political utterances having scant impact on the learning of school children merely because they suspect possible religious motivation. To be sure, legislative bodies should not be allowed to immunize their enactments from constitutional scrutiny merely by proclaiming an appropriate purpose for laws obviously having inappropriate consequences. But the mere utterances of school boards or their members expressing respect for the religious faiths of their constituents should have no more constitutional consequence than similar invocations of the divinity by Presidents and congressmen.
Notwithstanding the Court’s cautionary dicta, many state and local boards have addressed the political issue posed by the teaching of evolution to secondary school students. And at least three local school districts have found themselves in federal court as a result of their efforts to deal with the issue. All three are in formerly rural areas undergoing suburbanization, a circumstance tending to confirm the observation that there is an element of class conflict in the controversy.
Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. In 1994, the school board of this parish rejected proposals by a creationist member seeking to compel the teaching of intelligent design. But it then resolved by a 5-4 vote that:
Whenever, in classes of elementary or high school, the scientific theory of evolution is to be presented, whether from textbook, workbook, pamphlet, other written material, or oral presentation, the following statement shall be quoted immediately before the unit of study begins as a disclaimer from endorsement of such theory.
It is hereby recognized by the Tangipahoa Board of Education, that the lesson to be presented, regarding the origin of life and matter, is known as the Scientific Theory of Evolution and should be presented to inform students of the scientific concept and not intended to influence or dissuade the Biblical version of Creation or any other concept.
It is further recognized by the Board of Education that it is the basic right and privilege of each student to form his/her own opinion and maintain beliefs taught by parents on this very important matter of the origin of life and matter. Students are urged to exercise critical thinking and gather all information possible and closely examine each alternative toward forming an opinion.
Is it possible that students in a high school biology class could have their religious faith or lack thereof influenced by such an utterance coming from such a source? How many teenagers would not recognize this as an inconsequential ceremonial utterance expressing respect for the right of parents to err?
The Board also passed four other resolutions, providing that (1) no religious belief or non-belief should be promoted or disparaged by the school system; (2) religious materials may be included in secular education (e.g. literature, art, humanities, etc.); (3) artistic expressions (e.g. music, art, etc.) could have religious themes if they were presented objectively; and (4) students could distribute religiously oriented materials as long as students followed the school's rules pertaining to content-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions.
Parents offended by the Board’s symbolic resolution apologizing for the teaching of science brought suit in the federal court for the Eastern District of Louisiana invoking both state and federal constitutions as prohibitions on such an expression by the board. The district court found that the purpose of the Board’s resolution was to relieve parents of concern that the teaching of evolution was contradicting the message being taught to their children at Sunday school. It was therefore found to violate both constitutions and its reading was enjoined.
The court of appeals affirmed. It acknowledged that the First Amendment jurisprudence was confused. And it conceded that the dual objectives of disclaiming orthodoxy of belief and reducing student/parent offense are permissible secular objectives that the School Board could rightly address. But it found that
[T]he term "disclaimer," as used by the School Board to describe the passage to be read to students before lessons on evolution, is not wholly accurate. Beyond merely "disclaiming" endorsement of evolution, the two paragraph passage urges students to take action -- to "exercise critical thinking and gather all information possible and closely examine each alternative" to evolution. The disclaimer, taken as a whole, encourages students to read and meditate upon religion in general and the "Biblical version of Creation" in particular.
The court of appeals discounted the board’s contention that it sought to promote critical thinking about basic questions, noting the lack of evidence that such a consideration had been advanced at its meetings. The implication is that if the board members had summoned parents of faith to a board meeting and recorded their statements favoring the keeping of open minds, then maybe the court could believe that it was not the board members’ own religion that they were seeking subtly to impose on the ignorant and faithless children in their biology classes.
Cobb County, Georgia. In 1995, this local school board detected that “some scientific accounts of the origin of human species as taught in public schools are inconsistent with the family teachings of a significant number of Cobb County citizens." Accordingly, it provided that "the instructional program and curriculum of the school system shall be planned and organized with respect for these family teachings." At the Board’s direction, the school district provided students with science books from which material on evolution had been torn out, notwithstanding that standards approved by the Georgia state board required the teaching of evolution. No litigation resulted from this disfigurement.
In 2002, it was time to order new science books. The Board approved purchase of a new thousand-page book containing over a hundred pages on evolution, the book recommended by the chair of its high school science department. The book was, however, placed on display inviting parental comment. At a public meeting, some parents asked that intelligent design also be taught in science class. The Board’s counsel advised that this would violate the applicable state and federal constitutions. The Board then asked counsel to develop some language that would address parental concerns without violating the law. His proposed solution was adopted; it was to attach a sticker inside the front cover of the new biology books. The sticker states in full:
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.
Cobb County Board of Education
Thursday, March 28, 2002
Parents brought suit in federal court invoking both state and federal constitutions as prohibitions on stickers establishing a religion. Contrary parents sought to intervene to invoke their right to freely exercise their religion by securing the respect for their faiths acknowledged by the sticker. Their intervention was denied. So was the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The trial court considered the board’s purpose in adopting the sticker, finding that:
Among the reasons that Board members voted to place the Sticker in textbooks were parent concerns regarding the content of the new textbook and the strengthening of evolution instruction, parent concerns regarding the imbalanced presentation of theories of origin, teacher concerns regarding the teaching of theories of origin, their own concerns that the science textbooks did not address scientific controversy regarding evolution, their own desire to assure parents that the enhanced evolution instruction would not be unduly offensive to their philosophical or religious beliefs, and their own desire to promote critical thinking. . . .While the Sticker, on its face, is neutral towards religion and contains no religious content, the statement is not clearly neutral towards evolution.
The district court concluded that there was an issue of fact to be tried; that issue was the intended effect of the board’s action. Was the Board encouraging children in its school to believe, or did some members hope that they might disbelieve? Or were they just trying to keep the kids in school? At a trial of that issue, the plaintiffs offered the testimony of scientists who would affirm that evolution is a fact, not a mere theory. Their testimony was excluded. The author of the new text book was called by the plaintiffs, but testified that he taught evolution as a theory, not as a fact. After a four-day trial, the court concluded that notwithstanding the appropriateness of the board’s motives, "in light of the sequence of events that led to the sticker's adoption, the sticker communicates to those who endorse evolution that they are political outsiders, while the Sticker communicates to the Christian fundamentalists and creationists who pushed for a disclaimer that they are political insiders." It “misleads students regarding the significance and value of evolution in the scientific community for the benefit of the religious alternatives." And in that way "the Sticker sends an impermissible message of endorsement." And it was an expenditure of public funds to favor a religious view in contravention of the Georgia constitution. Accordingly the court granted an injunction compelling removal of the stickers.
But can anyone suppose that teenagers were influenced in their faiths or disbeliefs by what the Sticker said? Maybe a few spent a few minutes thinking about it, but surely no faiths were established or impaired by a mere Sticker. The only purpose the Sticker might achieve was to assure young-earth creationist parents that the schools and their teachers were not being sent on the errand of disturbing family beliefs. Even a Sticker assuring students that the board members believe that God made Man could have no significant consequence.
The Court of Appeals reversed, but remanded for further hearing of the evidence regarding the “sequence of events that led to the sticker’s adoption” because the record on appeal did not supply the relevant evidence. In particular, it was argued on appeal that the Board had acted in response to a petition signed by 2300 voters, but no such petition was in the record. If indeed the Cobb County Board received a petition signed by thousands of parents, is that evidence of an improper motive on its part? If thousands want intelligent design to be taught in biology class, that fact supplies thousands of reasons for the board to send some signal of respect to those parents. Perhaps the Board cannot yield to such a petition, but neither can it wisely treat the petitioners with disrespect. The sticker contained no expression of faith and had not the slightest chance of making a believer out of any student who read it. Such compromises are the essence of good democratic politics. It may well be that numerous members of the Cobb County Board are persons of literal-minded “young earth” faith, but the fact that such a board is responding to political pressures with a polite gesture in that direction does not makes its action a law “establishing a religion.” The matter is apparently still pending in the District Court.
Dover, Pennsylvania. In October 2004, the Dover School Board specifically advanced the theory of intelligent design in the manner of the Kansas board. Specifically, it resolved that:
Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin’s theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design.
Note: Origins of Life is not taught.
The Board then directed teachers in the ninth grade biology class to inform their students that
The Pennsylvania Academic Standards required students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.
Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. This Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.
Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available to students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves.
With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life to individual students and their families. As a Standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on Standards-based assessments.
The Dover biology teachers invoked their First Amendment rights to academic freedom and refused to read this statement to their students, so the Board directed the Assistant Superintendent to do so. Some members of the Board also undertook at their own expense to circulate copies of Of Pandas and People to students.
The Board members uttering this expression of skepticism were defeated when they sought re-election in 2005. That outcome, along with elections in Kansas, Ohio, and elsewhere, could be taken as evidence that the issue is well-suited to resolution by a democratic process that is more likely to gain the acceptance of those who disagree with the result than is a judicial decree.
Meanwhile, however, numerous parents and teachers protested to the federal court that this action by the Dover Board “established a religion” in violation of the First Amendment. Glancing reference was also made to the Pennsylvania constitution. At a long and warmly contested trial, scientists were called to support the school board’s action and defend intelligent design as a science. Their experience somewhat resembled that of William Jennings Bryan in Dayton, Tennessee: they were unable to persuade the court that their work met minimal scientific standards. Contrary witnesses summoned by the plaintiffs to challenge the school board’s actions discounted the theory of intelligent design as a new label for fundamentalist faith, and mere “junk science” unfit for presentation as anything other than as a religion that public schools are forbidden to advance. The federal judge was persuaded by the plaintiffs’ witnesses that the school board was propagating a religion, not a science, and was therefore violating the federal Constitution. He was not impressed by the concerns of some parents that the Dover Schools’ biology teachers were propagating a “junk religion” putting at risk their children’s salvation at Armageddon and thereby diminishing their incentive to behave properly. His opinion is celebrated by the National Academies in Science, Evolution, and Creationism.
No appeal was taken from the district court’s judgment. The political response of the voters was surely the primary reason for that decision by the school board, but it may also be a factor that the court taxed a very substantial counsel fee against the school board, presenting even members of a religious faith with a question as to how much public school money should be expended in such an effort.
Are These Three Disputes Best Resolved in Federal Court? As noted, the opinions of the Supreme Court instruct the federal courts to strive to detect the underlying purpose of each local school board’s program. Were these local boards aiming to propagate a religious faith or were they merely striving not to suppress one and to gain the trust of their fellow citizens committed to an anti-evolution faith? How does a federal judge determine the answer to that question? The answer may very well be unclear even in the minds of the school-board members who made the decisions under challenge. The psychoanalysis of local school boards by federal judges to determine their underlying motives in expressing their views is not a fruitful inquiry. If there are legitimate non-sectarian aims served by school policy and if no significant service to any sectarian cause results, the federal judiciary should disengage.
This is not to defend the educational politics of any of these three school boards. The voters of the Dover school district should be commended for denying reelection to board members who exceeded their proper roles in suggesting directly to children that intelligent design is serious science and urging them to read the anti-science peddled in Of Pandas and People. On the other hand, placing Of Pandas and People in a school library would seem constitutionally unobjectionable and even sound educational policy,  even if the admissions office of the University of California might possibly disapprove.
Reasonable voters might vote to re-elect the local boards in Cobb County or Tangipahoa Parish. Neither of those boards explicitly advanced any religious notion. Even one who would prefer school-board members who maintained complete silence in regard to the science curriculum, leaving consideration of the problem of family relations to the science teacher, might nevertheless want to keep as many children as possible in the community’s school, and might support school board members who can win votes for taxes to pay for schools. To those ends, if necessary, a wise voter might tolerate stickers in science books or other brief utterances by a local board expressing respect for the faiths of parents. Indeed, would it really matter if some books in a school library contained stickers revealing that the locally elected school board believes, or disbelieves, every word in the book at hand?
Leaving further consideration of such gestures to the local voters offers the advantage of flexibility in dealing with the task of unifying the institutions of a community. When outvoted in an honest election, most citizens will abide the outcome, if not cheerfully, then at least with lessened resentment. And they remain free to contest the next election. Indeed, “debating our differences may be the only thing that holds us together”.
As previously affirmed, the statements made by the school politicians on these school boards could have no possible significant effect one way or the other on the religious beliefs of students or on their understanding of science. Parents and students who have no problem with evolution should have no problem with encouragement to keep an open mind, for that is an essence of the academic enterprise at all levels. Whatever one may think about teaching science without concession to sectarian anxieties, all must ultimately acknowledge, as did John Dewey, that teaching is not itself a science, but an art. Insistence on intellectual rigor is a feature of the best of that art, but so is sensitivity to the intellectual state of the students being addressed. Seldom effectively taught is material that students resist learning. As an eminent scientist has recently affirmed: “[t]elling people that their deepest beliefs are simply silly –even if they are – and that they should therefore listen to us and learn the truth ultimately defeats subsequent pedagogy.” And all public classrooms are not the same; teaching science in a public school in Ann Arbor, Lawrence or Chapel Hill is not the same task as teaching science in Grass Lake. No federal court need or should take responsibility for insisting on science teaching that is pure in spirit and unclouded by the social and political realities with which conscientious school boards and their teachers must deal.
Even the Dover board’s unwelcome statement was too inconsequential to merit the attention of a federal court enforcing our national Constitution. Mistakes of that modest size and consequence can and should be left to democratic politics. Or if dissenting parents insist on litigation to correct so minor an offense against wholesome politics, the primary law to be applied is the state constitution, not the federal, and the preferable forum is the state court, not the federal.
As noted, Louisiana, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, like the other forty-seven states, all forbid local school boards from promoting any religious belief. It is not necessary to have a uniform national law on precisely what is meant by freedom of religion. In these matters as in others, there is wisdom in allowing a measure of difference and experimentation even in law bearing on the margins of important rights. A decision based on a state constitution leaves other courts in other states free to consider the issues afresh and in light of somewhat different constitutional texts and different social and political environments. It is also a benefit that improvident or overreaching decisions based on state constitutions are more easily corrected by constitutional amendments. As citizens, parents are entitled to move about the United States without putting their children at risk of having to recite prayers in school, but it is not too much to ask that they tolerate a measure of local politics in determining their schools’ curricula at the level of a sticker in a science book serving to reassure other parents that children of faith are welcome.
It bears notice that the three state constitutions applicable to these three cases are not identical. The Louisiana constitution is simply an echo of the First Amendment. The Georgia constitution specifically forbids the use of public money for religious purposes. A judge interpreting that provision could reasonably forbid the use of public money to buy stickers. Such a judgment would leave a local board free to allow the use of private money to buy stickers. If parents objected to such stickers, they would be free to throw the rascals off the school board, or at least to express their reactions with such a threat. And if the stickers contained statements advancing or demeaning any religious faith, the state court would be on firm ground in enjoining their use, but not, it would seem, if the utterance on the stickers was of trivial practical consequence.
The Pennsylvania constitution was written by Quakers and reflects their tradition of stern resistance to sectarian ideologies of all kinds. Indeed, Quakers were the members of the revolutionary generation who were most insistent on the separation of church and state. The pertinent provision of the first Article of the Pennsylvania constitution they wrote is:
All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship or to maintain any ministry against his consent; no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishments or modes of worship.
Did the Dover School Board violate this prohibition? A state court might reasonably decide that the Board had “given a preference to a religious establishment” when it referred to intelligent design and to Of Pandas and People.
The federal court deciding the Dover School case could also have rested its decision on the Pennsylvania constitution. This alternative would have had the advantage of expressing respect for local institutions. It would also have avoided the risk of error in expressing improvident ideas regarding what should be done in similar cases in other states in which local politicians seek to maintain local support for science teachers in their public schools. And it would rest the judgment on an explicitly applicable legal text that might possibly be amended if the people of Pennsylvania disagree, whereas there is no prospect that they could secure an amendment of the federal Constitution.
It would be even more prudent for the federal court to refer the case to the state court by abstention or to certify the question of constitutionality under the state constitution as an issue best resolved by the highest state court. The Pennsylvania courts represent the people of Pennsylvania as no federal court can. They are not immune to the resentment of those seeking the respect of local school boards for their religious faiths, but the resentment of class will almost surely be less if the intrusive judges are their own Pennsylvanians and not those of a distant federal sovereign. If they deem the local board’s action to be permitted by the state constitution, those responsible for enforcing the federal Constitution need take no offense so long as the rights of teachers are not infringed while local politicians express their views or otherwise seek to reassure those who fear the effects of science teaching on the religious faiths of their children.
Still better perhaps would be for the court, whether state or federal, to leave the narrow issue presented to the voters of Dover who knew best how to resolve it. Especially when, as in all three disputes, citizens are deeply concerned and deeply divided, it may be more constructive to point them in the direction of a deliberative political process in which both sides can participate openly and in which concessions can be reasonably expected. The point is made by the previously quoted Amy Gutmann and her co-author Dennis Thompson:
Reciprocity, publicity, and accountability . . inform the content of the deliberative perspective over time. When citizens and officials engage the dynamic of deliberative democracy, they use the principles of liberty and opportunity to bring about changes in the sources of moral disagreements – especially in the . . . nature of the diversity of reasonable moral points of view. The principles of deliberative democracy (and any agreement they create) are thus provisional. They not only are subject to revision in light of new information and better arguments, but also are a cause of such revision. Responsible citizens should regard many of their own moral claims as provisional.
Young-earth creationists and Dawkinsian atheists will not settle their differences by any such deliberative process. But if they are compelled at least provisionally to resolve their differences in local school board meetings or their like, the rest of us can be sure that their fundamental political and legal rights have been observed and that no eternal truth or scientific reality has been repudiated in a manner precluding correction in the course of the public debate that is the primary subject of the First Amendment.
In the same vein, David Tyack concluded after many decades of observation and reflection that:
there is still a good case for vesting decisions about education, as much as possible, with the people who have to live directly with the results of those decisions, in local districts and even in individual schools. Democracy is about making wise collective choices. Democracy in education and education in democracy are not quaint legacies from a distant and happier time. They have never been more essential to wise self rule than they are today,
A ROLE FOR CONGRESS?
If the Congress of the United States were to share the opinion that a federal court is not the right forum for resolving issues of public school politics, it might usefully consider relieving the federal courts of jurisdiction to enforce the Supreme Court’s regrettable direction that local school boards be psychoanalyzed to detect possible sectarian aims.
A relevant example is the Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932 that relieved the federal courts of responsibility for assessing the legality of strikes by workers. Prior to that legislation, federal judges had been for half a century been issuing several strike-breaking preliminary injunctions a week, thereby presuming to govern labor relations on a broad scale. The legislation did not change the substantive law, it merely retired the federal judiciary to other work that it was better suited to perform. A similar act might require federal courts to transfer to a local state court any case in which a public school curriculum or textbook is challenged as an establishment of religion. The federal Constitution as well as the state constitutions would remain applicable, but it would be left to the Supreme Court of the United States when reviewing decisions of highest state courts to determine whether the First Amendment as incorporated in the Fourteenth had been adequately enforced in lower courts. One might hope that the Court would be moved to establish a more viable test of constitutionality than the psychoanalysis of school board members required by its utterances to date.
The benign secondary effect of such legislation would be to redirect the attention and energy of those engaged in the dispute to deliberative processes where hopes for peaceful if temporary resolution might be pursued. That would be a highly legitimate goal for a Congress that values democratic traditions and respects the rights of all its citizens.
In the alternative, Congress might be tempted to address the merits of the issue presented by the cases cited. The law made by the Court to govern the science classroom is dependent on its incorporation of the First Amendment within the Fourteenth Amendment. Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment provides that “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” That text might plausibly be read to empower Congress to define the principle by which the First Amendment may or should be applied to constrain local school boards or classroom science teachers from acknowledging with civil respect the tension between scientific and religious heresies.
Whether an agreeable substantive principle can be fashioned is doubtful. But one is tempted to say that whatever Congress could produce would be preferable to the Supreme Court doctrine licensing the federal judiciary as the psychoanalysts of local politicians. The appropriate aim of such legislation would be to assure that the rights of local politicians as well as classroom science teachers to exercise freedom of speech, and to assure that the inevitable disputes between science and religion are localized in order to minimize their consequences to the larger social order.
For local politicians to ignore or treat with disrespect either a religious belief held by their constituents or a scientific reality is bad public school politics. To require them to do so is bad constitutional law. Given the state of the world and of the deeply divided minds of fellow citizens on the subject of natural selection, ours should be a time for deliberation and judicial tolerance of democratic politics. Little if anything could be lost if the federal judiciary, and even Congress, were more deferential to local institutions capable of the public deliberation envisioned by the First Amendment.
Professor of Law, Duke University. It is pertinent that I served as an elected trustee of the Ann Arbor Board of Education in 1970-1973; and as chair of the Public Education Committee of the Michigan Civil Liberties Union 1968-1978. In the latter role, I assisted in the representation of numerous teachers, parents, and children in their quarrels with local school boards. It is also pertinent that in 2000-2006, I served as a member of the National Academy of Science Panel on Law, Science and Technology. This essay grows out of a discussion conducted by that Panel. Thanks to Kristi Bowman, Clark Carrington, Emily Carrington, Roger Cramton, Kenneth Karst, Jefferson Powell, Paul Pressler, Neil Siegel, and William Van Alstyne for comments on an earlier draft. Jennifer Behrens and Kristin Seeger were very helpful with the research. Also helpful were comments of an audience at the Hastings College of Law on October 9, 2007.
 Project Steve, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/steve (2003); For a definitive statement addressed to the general reader, see Natiional Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, Science, Evolution, and Creationism (2008).
 Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801. The Inaugural Addresses of President Thomas Jefferson, 1801 and 1805, 5 (Noble E. Cunningham, Jr. ed. 2001). Jefferson was drawing on the earlier wisdom of John Milton: Let [Truth] and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter? Of Education, Areopagitica, The Commonwealth 130 (Laura E. Lockwood ed. 1911). *
 An excellent history of the dispute is Edward J. Larson, Trial and Error: The American Controversy over Creation and Evolution (3d ed. 2003).
 For a broader perspective on that divide, see Law and Class in America: Trends Since the Cold War (Paul D. Carrington & Trina Jones eds. 2006).
 Doubting Darwin 165 (2007).
 E.g., Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (2006); and see his The Selfish Gene (1976); The Blind Watchmaker (1986); Climbing Mount Improbable (1996). Dawkins has proclaimed that “faith is one of the world’s great evils.” Is Science A Religion?, Humanist 57 (Jan-Feb 1997).
 See, e.g. Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (2007).
 On the earlier connections between religion and public schools, see Kent Greenawalt, Does God Belong in the Public Schools? 13-22 (2005); and see generally Lawrence A. Cremin, American Education: The Colonial Experience 1607-1783 (1970).
 For an illustrative account of the struggle in New York City, see Diane Ravitch, The Great School Wars: New York City, 1805-1973 at 1-104 (1974). Brief and insightful comparison to other cultures is provided by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, The Impossibility of Religious Freedom (2005).
 When Methodists complained that every member of the Indiana University faculty was a Presbyterian, they were informed that there was not a Methodist in America qualified to sit in a professor’s chair. James Albert Woodburn, History of Indiana University 1820-1902 at 115 (1940).
 In the 17th century, it was a capital offense to be a Quaker in Massachusetts Bay. See Thomas D. Hamm, The Quakers in America (2003); Jonathan M. Chu,, Neighbors, Friends, or Madmen: The Puritan Adjustment to Quakerism in 17th-Century Massachusetts Bay (1985).
 Quoted by Marvin Lazerson, Origins of the Urban School 2 (1971). Mann was the eminent first Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education.
 They wanted a religious, but nonsectarian, foundation for morality and sought to strengthen the character of individuals rather than appealing to the primordial claims of kinship and ethnicity. They tried to train the young to be politically non-partisan . ..David Tyack, Seeking Common Ground: Public Schools in a Diverse Society 11 (2003).
 On the diversity of aims, see Michael B. Katz, The Irony of Early School Reform: Educational Innovation in Mid-Nineteenth Century Massachusetts (1968).
 The best articulation of this aim was left to the French scholar, Emile Durkheim. See his Moral Education: A Study in the Theory and Application of the Sociology of Education (1961); this is a translation of lectures delivered at the Sorbonne in 1902-03. “Elle crée dans l’homme un ệtre nouveau.” (Education creates a new being.)
 Id. at 48. And see Jean Piaget. The Moral Judgment of the Child (Marjorie Gabain trans. 1965); Patricia White, Civic Virtues and Public Schooling, Educating Citizens for a Democratic Society (1996).
 “Barnburners” was the name assigned to the political movement inspired by President Jackson’s message explaining his veto of the renewal of the charter of the Bank of the United States. They were also known as the Equal Rights Party although they were not organized as a political party. Their doctrine of equal rights required four freedoms: “free labor, free schools, free trade, and free speech.” For a brief account of the ideology, see Paul D. Carrington, Stewards of Democracy 15-23 (1999).
 David B. Tyack, The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education 13-25 (1974).
 When encountering controversial material, “he is either to read it without comment or remark, or at most, he is only to say that the passage is the subject of disputation.” Quoted by Tyack, supra n. 13 at 21.
 Perhaps the most strenuous statement of the separation appears in Section 16 of the Virginia Constitution of 1776 drafted by Jefferson; it proclaims:
That religion or the duty which we owe our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
It was, however, not until 1841 that Connecticut became the last state to repeal such a constitutional restraint on its government. Section 3 of that constitution now provides that:
The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be free to all persons in the state; provided, that the right hereby declared and established, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or to justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state.
 See Katz, note 14, at 157.
 See. The Public Purpose of Education and Schooling. (John Goodland & Timothy McMannon eds. 1997); Lawrence Kotin and William Aikman, Legal Foundations of Compulsory School Attendance (1980); but see Samuel L. Blumenfeld, Is Public Education Necessary? (1981).
 See Edward Krug, The Shaping of the American High School 170 n.2 (1969).
 Theodore R. Sizer, Secondary Schools at the Turn of the Century 7-9 (1964).
 This is how William H. Maxwell, the Brooklyn Superintendent defined his role. Quoted by Tyack,supra note 18, at 76.
 Parents Involved in Cmty. Sch. v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1., 426 F. 3d 1162 (9th cir. 2006) (concurring); rev’d 127 S. Ct. 2738;
 Nicholas Murray Butler, the president of Columbia University, explained that he would as soon think of talking about the democratization of the treatment of appendicitis as to speak of the democratization of schools.” Quoted by Tyack,supra note 18, at 77.
 15 The Middle Works of John Dewey 1899-1924 186 (Jo Ann Boydston ed. 1983) (“[I]f education is going to live up to its profession, it must be seen as a work of art which requires the same qualities of personal enthusiasm and imagination as are required by the musician, painter or artist.”). For reflections on Dewey, see Douglas J. Simpson, Michael J.B. Jackson & Judy C. Aycock, John Dewey and the Art of Teaching: toward Reflective and Imaginative Practice (2005).
 The Crisis in Education, 25 Partisan Review 498 (1958).
 Larson, supra note 3, at 15-24.
 Henry J. Perkinson, The Imperfect Panacea: American Faith in Education, 1865-1965 (1968).
 See Richard D. Kahlenberg, Learning from James Coleman, Public Interest, Summer 2001, at 55-58.
 As required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Act of Jan. 8, 2002, P.L. 107-110, 115 Stat. 1425. The name given the act did perhaps violate the trademark of the Children’s Defense Fund that has long used the phrase as a motto.
 Scott Franklin Abernathy, No Child Left Behind and the Public Schools (2007); James P. Comer, Leave No Child Behind (2005); Kevin R. Kosar, Failing Grades: The Federal Politics of Education Standards (2005); James E. Ryan, The Perverse Incentives of The No Child Left Behind Act, 79 N. Y. U.. L. Rev. 932 (2004); but see Edward Kennedy, No Retreat on School Reform, Washington Post, March 26, 2007 at A15. For the current data, see Laura S. Hamilton et al, Passing or Failing? A Midterm Report Card for “ No Child Left Behind, Rand Review, Fall 2007, at 17.
 See, e.g. Samuel Gintis & Herbert Bowles, Schooling in Capitalist America (1976).
 See Luis Benveniste et al, All Else Equal: Are Public and Private Schools Different? (2003).
 In some communities, this was severe. In 1844, in Philadelphia, there was a riot to protest the request of the Catholic bishop that his parishioners be allowed to use the Catholic version of the Bible. Bessie Pierce, Civic Attitudes in American School Textbooks 85 (1930).
 James C. Carper & Thomas C. Hunt, The Dissenting Tradition in American Education (2007); JoEllen MxNergney Vinyard, For Faith and Fortune: The Education of Catholic Immigrants in Detroit 1805-1925 (1998).
 Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510.
 See Diane Ravitch, The Great School Wars: New York City 1805-1973 at 161-180 (1974).
 See Lawrence Fuchs, Hawaii Pono: An Ethnic and Political History 106-149 (1961).
 Leaonard Ayres, Laggards in School: A Study of Retardation and Elimination in City School Systems 3 (1909).
 Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Family and Nation 92 (1987 ed).
 See Emily Holt et al, Qualifications of Public Secondary School History Teachers (2006).
 For an account of the development of standardized testing and its introduction in secondary schools, see Orville G. Brim et al, The Use of Standardized Ability Tests in American Secondary Schools (1965); for an expression of misgivings about this development ,see Peter Sacks, Standardized Minds: The High Price of America’s Testing Culture (1999); Linda M. McNeil, Contradictions of School Reform: Educational Costs of Standardized Testing (2000); but see Richard Phelps, Kill the Messenger: The War on Standardized Testing (2003).
 Charter schools began to appear about 1990. They are publicly funded institutions subject to less regulation by the state or local boards, but selected by parents. They are not religious and their students are not selected. See Jeanne Allen, Jeanne & Anna Marcucio, & Anna Varghese, Charter School Laws Across the State (2004); Tyack supra n. 13 at 158-180.. For a recent assessment, see James Forman Jr., Do Charter Schools Threaten Public Education: Emerging Evidence from Fifteen Years of Quasi-Market for Schooling, 2007 U. Ill. L. Rev. 839.
 Larson, supra note 3, at 196-201.
 See, e.g. Diana Jean Schemo, Grades Rise, but Reading Skills Do Not, New York Times, February 23, 2007 at A13.
 Brian P. Gill, Rhetoric Against Reality: What We Know and What Need to Know About Vouchers and Charter Schools (2007). Ohio has employed this device as a response to the alleged failures of the Cleveland schools; the practice narrowly withstood constitutional challenged in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002). In 2002, Pennsylvania took over the Phiadelphia schools and hired a private contractor to manage many of them; the data gathered in 2006 lent no support to this solution. Brian Gill, Takeover Overtaken: Public Management of Philadelphia Schools Leaves Private Management Behind in Math, Rand Review 24 (Spring 2007).
 See Nat’l Ctr. for Educ. Statistics, Homeschooling in the United States 2003: Statistical Analysis Report 1 (2006), available at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/2006042.pdf. For an account of the development of the practice, see Carper & Hunt, op. cit. n. 34 supra, at 239-264.
 See Melissa M. Deckman, School Board Battles: The Christian Right in Local Politics (2004).
 See Besieged: School Boards and the Future of Education Politics (William G. Howell ed., 2005). A recent reflection on the role is Howard Good, Inside the Board Room: Reflections of A Former School Board Member (2006).
 See David Matthews, Is There A Public for Public Schools? (1996).
 It was this feature that resulted in widespread unrest over the uneven distribution of funds that has been a cause of contention in recent decades. The Supreme Court of the United States declined to invoke the Equal Protection Clause to address that problem. See San Antonio Indep. Sch. Dist.v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1972).
 For a qualified defense of local taxation, see Paul D. Carrington, Financing the American Dream: Equality and School Taxes, 73 Colum. L. Rev. 1227 (1973).
 The first such case was Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U. S. 390 (1923) holding that the state may not prohibit the teaching of a foreign language in a private elementary schools. The statute in question was aimed at suppressing the German language still spoken by immigrants whose loyalty was questioned during World War I. The Court found a right of parents to control the education of their children. Reference was also made to the First Amendment that had not yet been incorporated into the Fourteenth Amendment. That happened in Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 562 (1925).
 Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1. In 1940, the First Amendment had been invoked to invalidate Connecticut law prohibiting proselytizing by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940).
 Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971); See Kristi L. Bowman, Seeing Government Purpose Through the Objective Overseer’s Eyes: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Debates, 29 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol. 417, 442-465 (2006); and see Kathleen M. Sullivan, Religion and Liberal Democracy, 59 U.Chi. L. Rev. 195 (1992). I do not question the extension of the First Amendment to apply to local schools, although I have elsewhere contended that the Supreme Court has indirectly caused much harm with overextensions of the First Amendment, such as those equating money with speech. Paul D. Carrington, Our Imperial First Amendment, 34 U. Richmond L. Rev. 1167 (2000).
 Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962); see.Greenawalt, supra note 8, at 79-87; Bowman, supra note 59. A recent example of the difficulty of discerning the educational motive is provided by Skoros v. New York City, 437 F. 3d 1 (2d cir. 2006) (school may forbid Catholic student from displaying at school a crèche depicting the birth of Christ alongside other symbols of Christmas and symbols of Judaism and Islamism). For thoughts on what a science teacher might reasonably do to accommodate faith-based doubt, see Greenawalt, at 114-115.
 Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97,107. For a full account, see Larson, supra note 3, at 93-98. A contemporaneous comment on the case by Thomas Emerson suggested that the outcome might have been justified by reference to the student’s First Amendment right to hear both sides of the issue. The System of Freedom of Expression 624 (1970). And on that possibility, see also William W. Van Alstyne, The Judicial Trend Toward Student Academic Freedom, 20 U. Fla. L. Rev, 290 (1968); The Constitutional Rights of Teachers and Professors, 1970 Duke L. J. 841. For a contemporaneous reflection on the establishment clause, see Donald O. Conkle, The Establishment Clause and Religious Exporession in Governmental Settings: Four Variables in Search of A Standard, 110 W.Va. L. Rev. 315 (2007).
 On that account, federal jurisdiction might have been withheld for lack of a case or controversy within the meaning of Article III.
 Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987).
 Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969); but cf. Morse v. Frederick, 127 S.Ct. 2618 (2007).
 West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1944).
 Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972). The parents involved in that case were Amish who wanted their children to remain in the community as farmers and housewives who share their lives and skills with their neighbors of the same faith. Science instruction was but one of the features of the public school that they sought to avoid.
 Cf. Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Sch. Dist, supra note 66.
 Op. cit. supra n. 13 at 157.
 Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S, 783 (1983). In 1971-73, the author in protest refused to participate in such a ceremony but did not commence legal action against his religious colleagues.
 Justice Scalia, dissenting in Edwards v. Aguillard, supra note 65, at 615, correctly observed that
Our cases in no way imply that the Establishment Clause forbids legislators merely to act upon their religious convictions. We surely would not strike down a law providing money to feed the hungry or shelter the homeless if it could be demonstrated that, but for the religious beliefs of the legislators, the funds would not have been approved. Also, political activism by the religiously motivated is part of our heritage. Notwithstanding the majority's implication to the contrary, we do not presume that the sole purpose of a law is to advance religion merely because it was supported strongly by organized religions or by adherents of particular faiths. . . . To do so would deprive religious men and women of their right to participate in the political process. Today's religious activism may give us the [Louisiana] Balanced Treatment Act, but yesterday's resulted in the abolition of slavery, and tomorrow's may bring relief for famine victims.
 The eminent philosopher of science, Larry Laudan, assessed the findings on which such conclusions were made to rest to be “a perpetuation of a false stereotype of what science is and how it works.. If it goes unchallenged by the scientific community, it will raise grave doubts about that community’s intellectual integrity.“ Beyond Positivism and Relaitvism: Theory, Method and Evidence 227 (1996).
 Republican Party v White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002).
 Epperson v. Arkansas, note 63.
 See supra note 20.
 Aguillard v. Edwards, 765 F. 2d 1251 (5th cir 1985).
 Brown v. Board of Education, 337 U.S. 483 (1954).
 A full account of the stress is Richard Kluger, Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America’s Struggle for Equality (1976). But in 1954, the Court could not have withheld relief. It did not even then order desegregation, leaving it to school districts to proceed with “all deliberate speed.”
 An account is Jack Bass, Unlikely Heroes: The Dramatic Story of the Southern Judges of the Fifth Circuit Who Translated the Supreme Court’s Brown Decision into a Revolution for Equality (1981).
 See Elizabeth Jacoway, Turn Away Thy Son: Little Rock, the Crisis That Shocked the Nation (2007).
 Act of July 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 241,codified in 42 U.S.C. See Robert D. Levy, To End All Segregation: The Politics of the Passage Of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (1990).
 See David J. Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King and the Southern Leadership Conference (1986); Taylor Branch, Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65 (1999).
 A dour assessment is Gerald Rosenberg, The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring About Social Change? (1991). Cf. Nancy St. John, School Desegregation: Outcomes for Children (1975).
 See Larson, supra note 3, at 95-98.
 The major step was the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, 102 Stat. 140. See generally Hugh Graham, The Uncertain Triumph: Federal Education Policy in the Kennedy and Johnson Years (1984). There was the antecedent practice initiated during World War II of subsidizing schools near military bases to take account of the fact that no local property tax was being paid.
 The National Education Association presents class size reduction as the major issue. http://www.nea.org/classsize.index.htmll. Confirming studies are cited by the American Federation of Teachers. http://www.aft.org/topics/classsize/.
 Abernathy, supra note 35; Ryan, supra note 35.
 See Larson, supra note 3. at 196-201.
 Parents Involved in Cmty. Schs. v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1, 127 S. Ct. 2738; on the predicates, see Neil S. Siegel, Race-Conscious Student Assignment Plans: Balkanization, Integration, and Individualized Consideration, 56 Duke L. J. 783 (2006)..
 In 1650, James Usshur, the Anglican archbishop of Ireland, was provoked by the skeptics of Genesis to publish the Annales veteris testamenti, a prima mundi origine deducti ("Annals of the Old Testament, deduced from the first origins of the world") and its continuation, Annalium pars postierior, published in 1654. In the latter work, he calculated the date of the Creation to have been nightfall preceding Sunday, 23 October 4004 BC. Peter J. Bowler, Monkey Trials and Gorilla Sermons 39 (2007).
 It had provided the theme of. Robert Chambers, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844). That work was originally published anonymously, but was widely circulated.
 Bowler,supra note 92, at 94-95.
 Michael Ruse, Darwinism and Its Discontents 5-17 (2006); and see Darwin’s letter to Asa Gray, May 22, 1860, quoted at 284-285.
 An Essay on the Principle of Population (1821).
 See J. D. Y. Peel, Herbert Spencer: The Evolution of a Sociologist (1971).
 See Richard Hofstadter, Social Darwinism in American Thought (1955).
 Larson, supra note 3, at 11-12
 Francis Galton, Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into Its Law and Consequences (1869).
 Essays on Eugenics (1909). And see generally Nicholas Wright Gillham, A Life of Sir Francis Galton: From African Exploration to the Birth of Eugenics (2001).
 For full accounts of the movement, see Mark Haller, Eugenics: Hereditarian Attitudes in the American Thought (1963); Daniel Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity (1985).
 Williams v. Smith, 131 N.E, 2d 2 (1921).
 Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927).
 See Stefan Kuhl, The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism (1994).
 E.g., Mark Henderson, Let’s Cure Stupidity, Says DNA Pioneer, The Times, February 28, 2003. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly0.1-2-593687.00.html.
 See supra note 4.
 Indeed, Dawkins to the contrary notwithstanding, it now appears that there may have been no Big Bang. Lawwrence M. Krauss & Robert L. Scherrer, The End of Cosmology?, Scientific American, March 2008 at 46.
 Required reading for many adolescents was William Paley, Natural Theology (1802) that depicted the complexities of the forms of life and concluded that they could not have been the result of chance, and must therefore be the product of design.
 For examples, see Ruse, supra note 94, at 275-290; Francisco J. Ayala, Darwin and Intelligent Design (2006).
 In recent years, some Islamic fundamentalists have begun to join in the resistance to “atheistic science”. Bowler, supra note 92, at 204.
 Id. at 177-179.
 Poll data, if it can be credited, shows overwhelming support for the creationist premise. For a review of the data, see Poll: Half of Americans Reject Evolution, Baptist Press, April 2, 2007. There are signs of growing support for creationism in Turkey and Pakistan. Deborah Msckenzie, A Battle for Science’s Soul, Newscientist, July 9, 2005. Also, Professor Leakey’s plan for a museum to display the skeleton of “Turkana Boy” that may be 200,000 years old is encountering resistance in Kenya; while both Pope Benedict XVI and the Moscow Patriarchate.are expressing skepticism about the science of evolution. In the Beginning, The Economist, April 21, 2007 at 23.
 Poll: Half of Americans Reject Evolution, Baptist Press, April 2, 2007, http://bpnews.net/
 He had earlier concluded that natural selection “does not solve the mystery of life or human progress” Prince of Peace. Speeches of William Jennings Bryan 269 (1909);
 Larson, supra note 3, at 30-31, 45-48,115-116; Gerald Leinwand, William Jennings Bryan: An Uncertain Trumpet 139-166 (2007); Michael Kazin, A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan 289-293 (2006); Lawrence W. Levine, William Jennings Bryan: The Last Decade 1915-1925 (1985).
 See Epperson v. Arkansas, supra note 63, at 102 n. 8 (1968) (citing Amer. Civil Liberties Union, The Gag on Teaching 8 (2d ed. 1937)
 The story is fully told by Edward J. Larson, Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion (1999).
 This was the same law as that enacted in Arkansas and held invalid in Epperson v. Arkansas, note. 62. Its proponents explained that “ We do not ask that Christianity to be taught at the schools, but we do ask that nothing contrary to that belief be taught.” The legislature had rejected a bill proposing to fire evolutionist teachers. The Governor who signed it assumed that no one could ever be prosecuted under it. Larson, supra note 3, at 54-57.
 For a critical comparison of the trial and the play, see Carol Iannone, The Truth About Inherit the Wind , First Things 28 (February 1997). It has been revived and was playing in New York in 2007.
 Leinwand, note 116, at 167-171; Kevin P. Lee, Inherit the Myth: How William Jennings Bryan” Struggle with Social Darwinism and Legal Formalism Demythologize the Scopes Monkey Trial, 33 Cap. U. L. Rev. 347 (2004).
 “The State's undoubted right to prescribe the curriculum for its public schools does not carry with it the right to prohibit, on pain of criminal penalty, the teaching of a scientific theory or doctrine where that prohibition is based upon reasons that violate the First Amendment” Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97.107 (1968). The Court first held that the First Amendment limits the powers of state and local governments in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947).
 For a brief account, see Sarkar, note 5, at 6-10.
 This is a vision widely shared among American Christians given to literal reading of the Old Testament account, leading many of them to be more ardent supporters of the Republic of Israel than are most Jewish Americans. See, e.g., Johnson, Lindbergh, & Lindbergh, The Power of One: The Ed McAteer Story (2004); Paul Pressler, A Hill on Which to Die: A Southern Baptist’s Journey 150-151, 248-249 (1999).
 See Byron R. Johnson, David R. Larson & Timothy C. Pitts, Religious Programs, Institutional Adjustment and Recidivism Among Former Inmates in Prison Fellowship Programs, 14 Justice Quarterly 145 (1997); Alexandra Alter, Study Touts Faith-Based Rehabilitation Program, Religion News, June 19, 2003, http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=2333.; cf. Un Timor, Constructing a Rehabilitative Reality in Special Religious Wards in Israeli Prisons, 42 Int. J. Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 340 (1998). Unusurprisinglym there is resistance to public rehabilitative programs based on the nurturing of faith. See Diana B. Henriques & Andrew Lehren, Religion for Captive Audiences, With Taxpayers Footing the Bill, New York Times, December 10, 2006, http://www/nytimes.com/2006/12/10/business/10faith.html.
 Science, Belief, and The Public, New Republic 98 at 144, republished in 15 John Dewey: The Middle Works, 1899-1924 at 59 (Jo Ann Boyston ed. 1983). See also his Democracy and Education (1916); The Public and Its Problems (1927); The Future of Liberalism or The Democratic Way of Change in What is Democracy? Its Conflicts, Ends and Means (1939). For an account of the interaction of Dewey with legal academics, see John Henry Schlegel, American Legal Realism and Empirical Social Science, passim, but especially 8-9, 24-25, 57-58, 68-69, 231-32 (1995).
 Revolt of the Elite and The Betrayal of Democracy (1995). Michael Sandel, who explains that the American tradition of sharing power has been displaced in the last half century by a vision of “freedom” enlarging individual autonomy and governmental neutrality at the expense of the bonds uniting us in a common venture. Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of A Public Philosophy (1996).
 A useful word of caution regarding the cultural divergence has been expressed by Princeton president Harold Shapiro:
[S]cientists and nonscientists alike are part of a common moral community, bound to one another by a shared vision of the kind of society we would like to become, by various mechanisms of priority setting and accountability, and by the nature of the obligations we have to the interests of others. . . . [I]n a scientific age such as our own, serious conversations and social negotiations between scientists and nonscientists on matters of mutual concern are both extremely important and ethically significant.
A Larger Sense of Purpose: Higher Education and Society 123-24 (2005).
 Kevin Trowel, Note, Divided by Design: Kitzmiller v. Dover Independent School District, Intelligent Design, and Civic Education, 95 Geo. L. J. 855, 875-881 (2007).
 What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America 208 (2006). Robert Bork has also emphasized the arrogance of what he denotes as the New Class who, he contends, seek to rule the world by judicial decree. Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges 52-84 (2003).
 E.g., The God Delusion (2006).
 Amy Gutmann, The Lure and Dangers of Extremist Rhetoric, Daedalus 70, 79 (Fall 2007). For an admirably gentle effort to bridge the divide, see E. O. Wilson, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth (2006).
 The Creation–Evolution Debate: Historical Perspectives 50-54 (2007).
 The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Ear+th (2006).
 E.g., John Whitcomb & Henry Morris, The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Explanations (1961). This “young earth” form of creationism has the support of diverse groups of Baptists, Lutherans, and Calvinists. Bowler, note 92, at 207-211.
 For example, Kurt P. Wise earned his doctorate at Harvard where his mentor was the late Stephen Gould who dismissed creationism in Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and The Nature of History (1989). Wise was not persuaded by Gould. See his review of Wonderful Life, 13 Origins Research 1 (1997). http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or131/wise.htm. Wise teaches creation science at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee
 Hanna Rosin, Rock of Ages, Ages of Rock, New York Times Magazine, November 25, 2007, at 30.
 Bowler, note 92, at 214-15.
 See Kevin Phillips, American Theocracy 99-264 (2006); Newt Gingrich, Rediscovering God in America: Reflections on the Role of Faith in Our Nation’s History and Future (2006).
 See generally Malcolm Jones, The Twelfth Book of Revelation; The Christian “Left Behind” Series Combines Profits and Prophecy, Newsweek, June 28, 2004, at 60.
 His seminal work is The Rapture: in the Twinkling of An Eye (with Jerry B. Jenkins), in which the faithful are magically whisked away to Heaven while the earth becomes hell for the unfaithful. It commenced a series of “left behind” works depicting the unhappy reward of disbelief. For assessments, see Amy Johnson Frykholm, Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America (2004); Glenn W. Shuck, Marks of the Beat: The Left Behind Novels and the Struggle for Evangelical Identity (2006).
 Larson, note 3, at 196-201.
 Supra notes 34 and 86 and accompanying text.
 Bowman, note 59, at 476-481.
 Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial (1991); Phillip E. Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds (1997); William A. Dembski, Mere Creation (1998).
 Wendell Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited: The Theories of Evolution and of Abrupt Appearance (2 vols 1991). This is a remarkably comprehensive work concluding that Darwinism is intellectually dead.
 Michael J. Behe, The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (1996).
 Michael Behe, for example, is a professor of biology at Lehigh University; Dean Kenyon is a professor at San Francisco State University.
 See e.g., Science, Evolution and Creationism, op. cit. n. 1 at 40-43; Stephen J. Gould, Rock of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life (1999).
 The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism.
 Larson, note 3, at 173-175.
 Peter Baker & Peter Slevin, Bush Remarks on ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ Fuel Debate, Washington Post, August 3, 2005 at A1.
 Michael Huckabee, Sam Brownback, and Tom Tancredo affirmed their disbelief in evolution in response to a question at the conducted at Des Moines on May 3, 2007 and nationally televised on MSNBC.
 Evolutionists are not unknown to take great offense at utterances expressing doubts about aspects of the theory, such as sexual selection. See Joan Roughgarden, Challenging Darwin’s Theory of Sexual Selection, Daedulus, Spring 2007 at 23.
 Sean Cavanaugh, Teachers Torn Over Religious Education, Educ. Week, Feb. 2, 2005 at 1; for a scientific study of science teaching, see America’s Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science (Susan R. Singer et at eds. 2006). For an argument that such teaching is constitutionally required, see Stephen W. Trask, Evolution, Science, and Ideology: Why the Establishment Clause Requires Neutrality in Science Classes, 10 Chapman L. Rev. 359 (2006).
 Democratic Education 101 (1987); and see Kent Greenawalt, Establishing Religious Ideas: Evolution, Crationism, and Intelligent Design, 17 Notre Dame J. L. Ethics & Pub. Pol’y 321 (2003).
 Cf. Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000); Mark W. Gordon, Prayer in Public Schools after Santa Fe Independent School District, 90 Ky. L. J. 1 (2002); see generally Kristi L. Bowman, Public School Students’ Religious Speech and Viewpoint Discrimination, 110 W. Va. L. Rev. 187 (2007).
 Excessive intolerance may also be reflected in publishing and personnel decisions of universities. For example, Wendell Bird describes the inability of physicist Robert V. Gentry to publish works on scholarly journals unless he deleted a concession that he could not reconcile his data with current cosmological theories. 2 Op. cit. n. 147 at 404.-405.
 Mike Weiss, Culture War Pits UC vs. Christian Way of Teaching: Religious Schools Challenge Admission Standards in Court, San Francisco Chronicle, December 12, 2005, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg?file=/c/a/2005-12/12/MNGBNGN2K1.DTL.
 The complaint alleges “viewpoint discrimination and content discrimination by defendants toward Christian school instruction and texts, which violates the constitutional rights of Christian schools and students to freedom of speech, freedom from viewpoint discrimination, freedom of religion and association freedom from arbitrary governmental discretion, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from hostility toward religion.” . The complaint may be visited at http://www.universityofcaliformia.edu/news/acsi-stearns/acsicomplaint0805.pdf
 The pertinent provisions of the California constitution are found in Article 1:
Sec. 2. (a) Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press. . . .
Sec. 4. Free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference are guaranteed.
 Ralph Blumenthal, Official Leaves Post as Texas Prepares to Debate Science Education Standards, New York Times, December 2, 2007 at A7.
 Ralph Blumenthal, Green Light for Institute On Creation in Texas, New York Times, December 19, 2007 at A16.
 Evolution and Texas, New York Times, December 3, 2007 at A34.
 I am by no means the first to notice. See, e.g., Bowman, note 60; Steven D. Smith, Symbols, Perceptions, and Doctrinal Illusions: Establishment, Neutrality and the “no Endorsement Test”, 86 Mich. L. Rev. 266 (1987)l Kent Greenawalt, Quo Vadis: The Status and Prospects of Tests Under the Religion Clause, 1995 Sup. Ct. Rev 323; Jesse H. Choper, .The Endorsement Test: Its Status and Desirability, 18 J. L. & Pol. 499 (2002). As these authors observe, Justice O’Connor may have been especially faithful to the test requiring something vaguely resembling psychoanalysis of the officials accused of illicit establishment.
 Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677, 691 (2005) (plurality opinion quoting Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 584-585 (1987).
 New State Ice. Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U.S. 262, 308-311 (1925).
 La. Const. art. I, sec. 8: “No law shall be enacted respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
 Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Bd. Of Educ., 185 F. 3d 337, (11th cir. 1999).
 Id. at 343.
 Id. at 346.
 Ga, Const. Art. I, §II, Para. VII: “No money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, cult, or religious denomination or of any sectarian institution.”
 Selman v. Cobb County Sch. Dist., 390 F. Supp. 2d 1286 (N.D. Ga. 2005).
 Selman v. Cobb County Sch. Dist., 449 F. 3d 1320 (11th cir. 2006).
 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School. District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005). This case is the subject of at least three thoughtful articles and a book. See Gordy Slack, The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything: Evolution, Intelligent Design, and a School Board in Dover, PA (2007): Arnold H. Loewy, The Wisdom and Constitutionality of Teaching Intelligent Design in Public Schools, 5 First Amendment L. Rev. 82 (2006); Jay D. Wexler, Kitzmiller and The “Is It Science?” Question, 5 First Amendment L. Rev. 90 (2006); Richard B. Katskee, Why It Mattered to Dover that Intelligent Design Isn’t Science, 5 First Amendment L. Rev. 112 (2006).
 Id. at 708-09.
 Pa. Voters Oust School Board that Backed 'Intelligent Design', USA Today Nov. 9, 2005, http://www/usatoday.com.news/nation/2005-11-09-Pa.evolution_x.htm.
 Op cit. n. 1 at 45.
 Cf. Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School Dist. No. 26 v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982). The Court there failed to rule on the claim of students to have in their school library books that parents and school board members wanted removed because of their alleged moral failings.
 Jonathan Zimmerman: Whose America: Culture Wars in the Public Schools 226 (2002).
 Lawrence M. Krauss, in Should Science Speak to Faith? A Debate, Scientific American, July 2007 at 89. The other debater is Richard Dawkins. For the extended version of their debate, see www.SciAm.com/ontheweb.
 See generally Margaret Hope Bacon, The Quiet Rebels: The Story of the Quakers in America 54-55, 67-68 (1985).
 Charles Alan Wright & Mary Kay Kane, Law of Federal Courts 324-341 (2002).
 Id. 343-345.
 Democracy and Disagreement: Why Moral Conflict Cannot be Avoided in Politics, and What Should Be Done About It 356 (1996). And see generally Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson, Why Deliberative Democracy? (2004).
 Op. cit. n. 13, at 185.
 Act of Mar. 23, 1932, 47 Stat. 70, 29 U.S.C. § 101 to 115. See Felix Frankfurter & Nathan Greene, The Labor Injunction (1930).Daniel R. Ernst, Lawyers Against Labor: From Individual Rights to Corporate Liberalism (1995).
 By one count, federal judges imposed over 4,300 strike injunctions on unions between 1880 and 1930 Willam E. Forbath, Law and The Shaping of the American Labor Movement 192-98 (1991).
 A more radical solution would be to foreclose the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as well, as was done to protect reconstruction legislation from the Court. See Ex parte McCardle, 74 U.S. 506 (6 Wall. 318) (1868). Whether the Court would or should hold still for that degree of constraint by Congress is a question. See Laurence Claus, The One Court That Congress Cannot Take Away: Singularity, Supremacy and Article III, 96 Geo. L. J. 59 (2007).