California Textbook Scandal : Major Victory for “CAPEEM”

via http://www.capeem.org published on March 27, 2008


Judge denies Motion for Summary Judgment against CAPEEM






Los Angeles , California


 

California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials (CAPEEM) scored a major victory on Tuesday
when Judge Frank C. Damrell, Jr. of the United States District Court of
the Eastern District of California rejected  the defendants’ motion to
dismiss CAPEEM’s lawsuit to correct inaccuracies in sixth grade history
textbooks. CAPEEM’s complaint contends that the process to
adopt the textbooks discriminated against Hindus and that the textbooks
indulge in indoctrination of Abrahamic religions while using
disparaging language against Hinduism.
 
The motion for summary judgment asking for the dismissal of the lawsuit was filed by the office of California ‘s Attorney General on behalf of the officials of the State Board of Education and the California Department of Education. Judge
Damrell rejected the claim that an earlier ruling in a lawsuit filed in
a state court by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) had definitively
settled the issues raised by CAPEEM in its lawsuit.
 

The judge pointed out that
the ruling in the HAF case strengthened CAPEEM’s claim of discrimination against its members.

  Judge Damrell noted, “the superior court found in favor of the HAF plaintiffs on their state APA claim; arguably,
this finding lends support to CAPEEM’s claims in this case that
defendants conducted the adoption process in a manner that was
discriminatory.
 
The judge also agreed with CAPEEM’s claim that the issues in the two cases were different:  “.
. . Similarly, the superior court concluded the textbooks at issue
there did not violate the state standards for content, as promulgated
by defendants. This court could find defendants violated the
Establishment Clause without reaching a judgment that is inconsistent
with that of the superior court; this court could find that the
underlying standards themselves violate the Establishment Clause.”
 
Reacting
to the judgment, Arvind Kumar , a director of CAPEEM said, “the
arguments in the Defendants’ motion posed the biggest challenge to us
so far and we are happy to have won this victory. We can now focus our
energies on our main claims in the lawsuit.
 
CAPEEM’s
attorneys Venkat Balasubramani and Michael Newdow expressed
satisfaction with the order. This was the third motion filed by the
defendants against CAPEEM in attempts to seek summary dismissal of the
lawsuit.
 

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