HUNTINGTON --The co-lead counsel in a high-profile case that drew national headlines will speak next week at Marshall University.
The Amicus Curiae Lecture Series, sponsored by the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy at Marshall University, will conclude its 2013-14 series on April 1 when it welcomes Stephen G. Harvey to speak on the topic “Creationism on Trial: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District: The 21st Century Monkey Trial.”
Harvey was co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the Kitzmiller case, which was the first in the nation to test whether “intelligent design” can be introduced into the curriculum of public high school science classes.
In a victory for the plaintiffs, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, a Republican appointee of President George W. Bush, ruled that the Dover school board in Pennsylvania had violated the First Amendment Establishment Clause’s “wall of separation” between church and state and that intelligent design is clearly religious in nature and is not science.
The Kitzmiller trial is the subject of four books (including one by the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin) and extensive media coverage both nationally and internationally, including as the subject of a two-hour episode of PBS’s "NOVA."
Harvey practices law in Philadelphia and, throughout his career, has had an active pro bono practice, handling cases involving political asylum, the rights of children, religious liberty, science education, organ allocation and free speech.
He is a member of the Legal Advisory Committee of the National Center for Science Education. He is a frequent speaker on legal developments and issues, including the topics of religious liberty and public education, which he most recently addressed in a talk last October at the University of New Orleans.
“This topic of intelligent design is still the subject of much controversy around the nation and issues related to freedom of religion and public education are of great interest to many people," said Patricia Proctor, director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy. "I am delighted that we have someone to lecture who has litigated the issue and is deeply knowledgeable about the topic from the perspective of U.S. Constitutional law.”
The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center. It is free and open to the public. The series is supported by a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.