Several of you have asked what happens next in the intelligent design case. Both sides have two more weeks to submit “proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law,” which basically means how each side thinks the judge should rule and why.
During these two weeks, the defendants’ and the plaintiffs’ attorneys will also be working with the judge to determine which exhibits will be admissible as evidence and therefore made part of the permanent record of the trial. The big dispute is over two newspaper articles our side introduced about the June 14 board meeting, both of which stated that the word “creationism” was used at the meeting. The record of the trial will be closed after that.
Following the submissions of proposed findings, each side has one week to respond to the other (putting us at November 25). After that, the judge will begin deliberating. He stated at the trial on Friday that he will do his best to make a ruling by the end of the year or early January at the absolute latest. That’s actually a fairly quick turn-around time for a case this complex.
The judge will be looking how the Lemon test applies. The purpose of the Lemon test (based on a 1971 US Supreme Court case, Lemon v. Kurtzman) is to determine when a law has the effect of establishing religion. This Morning Call article gives a pretty good summary and explanation of the Lemon test and its application to this case.