James Corbett
James Corbett

UCI's Chemerinsky to Represent Teacher in 'Jesus Glasses' Appeal

The Register's Scott Martindale reports that the lovably liberal UCI Law dean, Erwin Chemerinsky, will help represent James Corbett in his appeal of the ruling earlier this year that he violated the Constitution by criticizing Creationism in a Capistrano Valley High School classroom.

Corbett called Creationism "religious, superstitious nonsense" while teaching AP European History in 2007. Student Chad Farnan sued, alleging religious descrimination based on that comment and 21 others. A judge this year found Corbett liable only for the "nonsense" remark.

Yesterday, Corbett filed his appeal of the ruling against him with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Farnan's side, meanwhile, filed an appeal asking for reconsideration, asserting that all 22 of Corbett's recorded comments violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Chemerinsky, a high-profile legal scholar who has represented gay marriage advocates and Guantanamo detainees, will help Corbett's legal team with the constitutional issues. He, along with Corbett's other lawyers, is working pro bono. Farnan will continue to be represented pro bono by Murrieta-based Advocates for Faith and Freedom.

For more on the case, see the Weekly's April 2008 cover story.


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