Judge: Capo Valley High Teacher Not Financially Liable for Anti-Christian Crack
A federal judge in Santa Ana has ruled that high school history teacher James Corbett--who former Weekly reporter Daffodil Altan wrote about here and here (with Gustavo Arellano on the latter)--is not financially liable for disparaging Christians in class.
The scoop is in today's Orange County Register.
Ruling in a case brought by 17-year-old Mission Viejo resident Chad Farnan, who was helped by Christian foundation lawyers working for free, U.S. District Judge James Selna in May found that the 62-year-old teacher violated the First Amendment's establishment clause when he referred to Creationism as "religious, superstitious nonsense" during a fall 2007 lecture at Mission Viejo's Capistrano Valley High School.
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But Selna tentatively ruled last month that he would bar the student from recovering any monetary damages or legal fees, something the judge made final this week.
"Corbett is shielded from liability--not because he did not violate the Constitution, but because of the balance which must be struck to allow public officials to perform their duties," Selna explains in his 33-page decision.
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