In the news...

November 5, 2012

Judge backs NASA lab in work discrimination case

A California judge has tentatively ruled in favor of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by a former computer specialist who alleged he was singled out in part because of his belief in intelligent design.

Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige issued a tentative ruling Nov. 1 saying he was leaning toward finding in favor of JPL, which had argued at trial that David Coppedge was let go because he was combative and did not keep his skills sharp, not because of his belief that life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone.

Hiroshige, who presided over the civil trial in April, ordered a final ruling drawn up and distributed within 30 days.

Coppedge, a self-described evangelical Christian, had worked on NASA’s Cassini mission to explore Saturn for 15 years until he was dismissed in 2011.

His attorney, William Becker, argued that Coppedge was let go because he advocated for intelligent design in the workplace, handed out DVDs on the theory and argued with a colleague about Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California.

In his lawsuit, Coppedge claimed he was demoted in 2009 and then let go for engaging his co-workers in conversations about his views.

Becker argued at trial that a supervisor told Coppedge to “stop pushing your religion,” and that Coppedge was retaliated against for disputing a written warning and filing a lawsuit against the lab.

The case has been closely followed by intelligent design supporters, but Becker said the one-paragraph tentative ruling should not be seen as a referendum on the theory.

“It does not specify the court’s reasoning and it would be foolhardy to discern from its general language that the court had anything to say about the validity of intelligent design as a scientific theory or as a religious belief,” Becker said. “We don’t believe it was about religious belief, but David’s co-workers perceived it as one and that’s equally offensive under the law.”

At trial, JPL attorney Cameron Fox contended Coppedge was a stubborn and disconnected employee who decided not to heed warnings to get additional training, even when it became clear the Cassini mission would be downsized and computer specialist positions eliminated.

Coppedge often was confrontational and insensitive to customers and colleagues, who had complained about his behavior and his advocacy of intelligent design, Fox said.

Coppedge is active in the intelligent design sphere and runs a website that interprets scientific discoveries through the lens of intelligent design. His father wrote an anti-evolution book and founded a Christian outreach group.

Coppedge also is a board member for Illustra Media, a company that produces video documentaries examining the scientific evidence for intelligent design.

The company produces the videos that Coppedge was handing out to co-workers, Becker said. AP




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 

Lockheed to settle suit over retirement accounts

Lockheed Martin agreed Dec. 16 to settle a federal class-action lawsuit accusing the aerospace and defense behemoth of mismanaging the investment accounts of its employees and retirees, charging the investors high fees along the way. The tentative deal announced in federal court in Illinois’ East St. Louis averted an anticipated four-week trial in the 8-year-old...
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

Headlines December 15, 2014

News: Defense authorization bill heads to White House - Senate lawmakers finalized work on the $584.2 billion annual defense authorization bill Dec .12, putting in place a 1 percent pay raise for troops starting in January and limiting growth in housing allowance rates. Senators make final push for vets suicide-prevention bill - An effort to get a...
 
 

News Briefs December 15, 2014

Official: Afghan insurgents kill two U.S. troops An international military official has told The Associated Press that an insurgent attack on a convoy in eastern Afghanistan has killed two U.S. troops. The official says the attack happened by the Bagram air base in Parwan province near the capital, Kabul, late Dec. 12. The official spoke...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>