You will recall that the famous 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard decision was a 7-2 split, with Scalia and Rehnquist in favor of allowing Louisiana to teach "creation science" alongside evolution. O'Connor was in the majority. Clarence Thomas (who votes like Scalia) was not yet on the court. So, it seems to me that if Bush and the religious right succeed in replacing O'Connor with a Scalia-type conservative, there would likely be four votes for creationism on the court.We need to force Bush to nominate a reasonable judge. I don't expect him to nominate a Democrat, but not nominating another Scalia would be nice. This isn't a seat to be packed with an arch-conservative. I don't like any of the names being circulated, but some people seem to think McDonnell and Wilkinson might be OK. TalkLeft likes Prado. I'll wait and see.
And of course, it gets even worse than that. Since 1987, the anti-evolutionist movement has evolved in response to legal precedent, adopting strategies ("teach the controversy" and so on) explicitly designed to get around the Edwards decision. So if O'Connor is replaced by a conservative, the teaching of evolution is very much in peril in this country.
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