Thursday, March 22, 2012

Doing my job by predicting the outcome

Almost two (2) years ago I mentioned the Coppedge v JPL lawsuit. To catch up…David Coppedge (Plaintiff) claims he was discriminated against by his employer JPL (Defendant) because Coppedge was handing out pro-Intelligent Design material and told to stop.

Anyone familiar with Expelled: the Movie will immediately recognize what is being claimed—the Scientific Community is deliberately barring Intelligent Design by firing, demoting, refusing to hire and generally ostracizing any person supportive of Intelligent Design.

And…in our present situation…Coppedge’s claims fall in the same line. I wrote a second entry on Coppedge where I outlined problems seen at the very onset. Amazingly (or not so amazingly, really) my predictions have roughly fallen into line.

It would seem the First Amendment claim was thrown out. As predicted. The Plaintiff Coppedge attempts to portray himself as someone who would never be pushy. As predicted.

And the Defendant employer is now providing situations where Coppedge WAS pushy and disliked and a problem employee. As Predicted. There are instances where Coppedge was (uh-oh) informed he was “too opinionated and unwilling to listen” regarding items that had nothing whatsoever to do with religion.

Worse, Coppedge is failing to answer the questions of JPL’s Lawyers, and the judge has admonished him—demonstrating Coppedge is opinionated and unwilling to listen! Further, JPL has numerous co-workers lined up to testify how they don’t like working with Coppedge because of his demeanor—not necessarily what he said.

Did I mention he got in an argument over Proposition 8 (same sex marriage in California) and complained the “Holiday Party” should be called “Christmas Party”?

Simply put—he was exactly what I said he looked like from the very beginning. A problem employee. (If you would like to follow along, the Sensuous Curmudgeon is doing a day-by-day blow on the trial through the media coverage.)

Unfortunately, “Christianese” does not translate well into the rough-and-tumble real world. As I have seen time and time again, when only confronted with those who already support you, Christians become convince their own beliefs are justifiable when scrutinized. Pastor Jim believes it. Sunday School Teacher Tracy taught it. All their friends agree. All their friend’s friends agree.

And this invulnerability feeling is shocked when others don’t quite see it the same way. How could JPL impose employment sanctions unless it had to do with Intelligent Design? It couldn’t be that Coppedge was a difficult person to work with…why…all his Intelligent Design friends just LOVE him, don’t ya know!?

As I though at the time, and continue to think—Coppedge is a pawn in the Discovery Institute’s machine. If he wins (he won’t) they can proudly claim poor Intelligent Design is picked on by NASA. If he loses (he will) they will write it off to “activist judge” and bury the story.

Oh…one final interesting note. Plaintiff Coppedge waived a jury and personally choose to have his case held before the judge. Get that? Any claim of “activist judge” will be ridiculous, because it was Coppedge’s choice to have the judge—not a jury.


  1. good summary, thankyou

  2. Plaintiff has submitted as part of his trial brief a 3-page "dramatic reenactment" in screenplay format. I shit you not.

    Simply must be read to be believed.

  3. Hiero5ant,

    I have seen thousands of briefs over my career, and I have never seen anything like it submitted by an attorney. Certainly by members of the public, I have seen some…interesting…writing. That is exactly what this looks like.

    The attorney is evidently out of his league; his client doesn’t have a clue the loss he is about to suffer. And the Discovery Institute will blame it on the system—not the Plaintiff and Plaintiff counsel.