John E. Jones III

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John E. Jones III is an activist federal judge notable for ruling that intelligent design is another name for creationism in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case.[1] Jones is also widely recognized as a former Republican nominee for the US House of Representatives.[2]

Judge Jones is a Republican judge from Pennsylvania, and was appointed by President George W. Bush[3] after being recommended by ultra-conservative and pro-life firebrand US Senator Rick Santorum.[4] Perhaps Jones' most famous ruling, that of the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case, was brought by the parents of 11 students from the Dover school district to remove intelligent design from district classrooms. Jones ruled that it should be removed, and this has sparked a controversy. Ann Coulter called Judge Jones a "hack."[3]

Jones, who has been a member of the liberal Protestant denomination Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (a denomination which has homosexual clergy),[5] had previously served as the state attorney for D.A.R.E in Pennsylvania, chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and avid volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America.[6]

Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District ruling

Legal scholars Jay D. Wexler and Arnold H. Loewy questioned Judge Jones's ruling.[7]

In his ruling, Judge Jones plagiarized material from ACLU briefs.[8][9][10][11] The Discovery Institute states that Judge Jones followed the ACLU and ignored contrary facts.[12]

After the trial, Judge Jones ordered the school district to pay over $2 million in legal fees to the ACLU's side. Just prior to Judge Jones' ruling, though, the usually-conservative Dover school district elected eight new members to the executive board, all eight of whom opposed inclusion of ID in science classrooms at the local high school.[13] Because of this turnover, it was exceedingly unlikely that the decision would be appealed by the Dover Area School District.

Jones later made statements making clear that he knew that he had engaged in judicial activism in the case.[14]

Dickinson College Commencement Address

In December 2006, a Discovery Institute blogger suggested that Judge Jones plagiarized a scholar's book in his Dickinson College commencement speech and gave a comparison of the speech and the scholar's work.[15] The source is currently acknowledged in the online published text of the speech.[16]


  1. Grier , Peter and Josh Burek Banned in Biology Class: Intelligent Design Christian Science Monitor
  2. [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cohn, Robert A. Judge explains 'intelligent design' ruling St. Louis Jewish Light January 1, 2008
  7. Luskin, Casey Kitzmiller Plaintiffs' Attorney Uses Ridicule and Harsh Rhetoric against Legal Scholars Who Question Judge Jones Evolution News March 16, 2007
  8. Moore, Art Judge copied ACLU in anti-intelligent design ruling World Net Daily
  9. West, John G. and David K. DeWolf (December 12, 2006) A Comparison of Judge Jones’ Opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover with Plaintiffs’ Proposed "Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law" Discovery Institute.
  10. Luskin, Casey (January 26, 2007) A Response to Darwinist Defenders of Judge Jones' Copying from the ACLU Evolution News
  11. Judge Jones even copied a misspelling of Antony Flew
  12. Crowther, Robert (December 21, 2005)Judge Jones Follows ACLU, Ignores Contrary Facts Evolution News
  15. Did Judge Jones Plagiarize Scholar's Book in Dickinson College Commencement Speech? (Robert Crowther, 2006)
  16. Judge John E. Jones, Commencement Address (Dickinson College, May 19-21, 2006). Accessed April 21, 2007.