St. Petersburg Times education reporters and their education blog, The Gradebook, were definitely the media folks to go to for information on anti-evolution efforts last year. It looks like their education team is still on the ball this year. A recent blog post relates how the ACLU is warmed up and ready for a fight. The ACLU’s Larry Spalding says:
“I would hope that if they get this bill, that they have legal staff in the House and the Senate take a hard look at this and let the sponsors know what the legal position is … In tough economic times, why would you pass a law that would invite a very expensive lawsuit?”
Reporter Ron Matus also leaves a question hanging in the air: what does Gov. Crist think of all of this?
Another point mentioned in the post is that Senator Wise should be lining up the same new bill in both legislative houses so as to make final bill passage easier. However, remember that last year the bills proposed by Senator Storms and Representative Hays started out as identical until Hays went off on his own. Can the troops be kept in line this time? If Senator Wise really intends to center his legislation around intelligent design creationism, it will be interesting to see how he and other lawmakers handle the very dark and heavy cloud that hovers over that subject. The deceptively-named “academic freedom” bills of last year were much less radioactive than the idea of mandating intelligent design creationism! And yet the anti-evolution gang still couldn’t stick to the same script. Intelligent design creationism had its very well publicized day in court and went down in flames. When intelligent design creationism popped up a time or two last year, the media had a field day.
But as Matus says, until a bill is finally filed, we’re all just shooting the breeze here.