Saturday, January 9, 2010

Judge John Jones (Sep 17, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, September 17, 2009)

Note to self: Read the Constitution.

Judge John Jones ruled in the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District and decided that a book about Pandas couldn't be used in the classroom because it presented the idea of Intelligent Design. He ruled that Intelligent Design is the same as Creationism and, because the Supreme Court had already ruled Creationism to be unConstitutional to teach in schools, Intelligent Design would be treated the same.

(Wow, I apologize... the above paragraph is probably among the most poorly worded things I've ever written. I cannot write at all right now.)

The following are un-edited notes taken during his lecture.

Constitution Day - Judge John Jones
self-fulfilling prophecy
Darwin's prediction being "proven" by molecular biology.

judicial independence
= system of justice with judges adhering to the Constitution, acting responsible
/=/ unfettered justice system not accountable for anything

{judges do not decide to gain approval, it is like calling the third out as an umpire. they hear the criticisms and are aware of them, but do not rule based on those criticisms.}
--> okay, but sometimes criticisms should be heard AND considered
--> you may be aware of those criticisms, but do you THINK CRITICALLY
--> about them?
: yes, some criticisms are ill-advised and directed at attacking the individual, BUT NOT ALL. +
...v...come on, guys. argue eloquently. don't attack the individual. don't call them names. argue with their argument.

"there are precedents from the Supreme Court that keep me from judging to the popular opinion, even if I agree with that opinion."

John Adams = {facts are stubborn things. they cannot be swayed by our wishes or our passions...}
FACTS WILL NOT BE SWAYED, but our perceptions and interpretation of those facts ARE swayed, as are our thoughts of the implications of those facts. :(

Brown v. Board of Education
= unpopular decision was right and is now accepted
/=/ that does not mean that every unpopular decision is right*

* in fact, i would hope that we, as a people, have matured morally that unpopular decisions ARE NOT right.


"students should have more training in civics"
yes, I agree. however, who's to say that they'll be taught the Constitution correctly?


ethical (and spiritual) intelligence is not imposed, but encouraged.
--> I encourage you to have some ethical and spiritual intelligence.

I respect you for your courage to rule the way you felt just.

----------- barely talked about the Constitution AT ALL

Alex Hamilton --> {the constitution is gone; it is dead letter.}

This is essentially the question I asked him during Q&A.

you said there are certain
precedents you have to
follow as a judge, even
if you don't agree with
where those precedents lead
you... there anything
...that you'd quit
...your job for?

He essentially did not answer my question and said that one potentially could step down from the bench if they felt it necessary, but that one should not shirk their responsibilities. He basically said no.

Afterwards, I asked him if he agreed that biases can influence the conclusions that someone draws from looking at facts, no matter how stubborn those facts may be. (Oh man, why wasn't I this eloquent THEN??) He said yes, and illustrated it by the fact that the Creationists want Intelligent Design to be true and so they will look at the facts in such a way to support their desire. He failed, however, that it also works the other direction.

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