Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968)裁判は、人間の進化を公立学校で教えることを禁じるアーカンソー州法を無効化した。法廷は、多数派の意見の表現にある「教育及び学習を、いかなる宗教宗派あるいは教義の原則あるいは禁則に適合させなければならない」ことを政府が義務付けることを禁じる、米国憲法修正第1条を堅持した。連邦最高裁は、アーカンソー州法は米国憲法修正第1条に反しているので、違憲であると判決した。この判決の後に、進化論を教えるときは創造科学も教えることを義務付ける州法が幾つか成立した。これらは1987年の
Edwards v. Aguillard裁判
unlawful for any teacher or other instructor in any university, college, normal, public school or other institution of the state which is supported in whole or in part from public funds derived by state or local taxation to teach the theory or doctrine that mankind ascended or descended from a lower order of animals, and also that it be unlawful for any teacher, textbook commission, or other authority exercising the power to select textbooks for above-mentioned institutions to adopt or use in any such institution a textbook that teaches the doctrine or theory that mankind ascended or descended from a lower order of animal.
Epperson v. Arkansas裁判には、州法成立から40年後のLittle Rock高校での生物教育が関与した。学校の生物教師たちの推薦に基づき、1965-1966学校年度の新教科書として学校管理者が採択した教科書は、チャールズ・ダーウィンと進化論を論じる章があり、生徒たちに教える内容に入っていた。
Susan Eppersonは、Little Rock学校群の教師で、Little Rock Central High Schoolで10学年の生物を教える教師として雇用された。新教科書及びカリキュラム規準の採択により、彼女は法的ジレンマに立たされた。その教材を教えることは、州では犯罪であり、学区の指示に従えば、解雇のリスクを負うことになる。Eppersonは教えることに異を唱えず、National Education Associationのアーカンソー支部と、American Civil Liberties Unionと、Little Rock Ministerial Associationの明確な支持を受けて、アーカンソー州法の合憲性を問う訴訟を起こした。彼女は州法の無効と、進化論カリキュラムを教えた場合の解雇の差し止めを求めて、Pulsaki郡衡平法裁判所に訴訟を起こした。学校の生徒の保護者であるH. H. Blanchardが裁判に参加した。
Upon the principal issue, that of constitutionality, the court holds that Initiated Measure No. 1 of 1928, Ark.Stat.Ann. § 81627 and § 81628 (Repl.1960), is a valid exercise of the state's power to specify the curriculum in its public schools. The court expresses no opinion on the question whether the Act prohibits any explanation of the theory of evolution or merely prohibits teaching that the theory is true, the answer not being necessary to a decision in the case and the issue not having been raised.
The overriding fact is that Arkansas’ law selects from the body of knowledge a particular segment which it proscribes for the sole reason that it is deemed to conflict with a particular religious doctrine; that is, with a particular interpretation of the Book of Genesis by a particular religious group.
William Jennings Bryanはよく知られているように、1925年のScopes v. State裁判で、聖書創造論についての幾つかの質問に答えていた。しかし、この裁判と同じく、公立学校で人間の進化を教えることを禁止できるか判断するための質問だった。Bryanは進化論教育に反対していたが、聖書創造論を学校で教えることについて論じはしなかった。しかし、これはEpperson裁判後、一気に変わった。アーカンソー州における進化論教育禁止の背後にある動機が、特定宗教観のみであると結論したEpperson裁判でできた判例により、全米の同様の進化論教育禁止を効率的に無効化できた。Epperson裁判からほどなく、進化論教育に反対する宗教勢力は、進化論教育の影響を小さくするために、学校に進化論とともに聖書創造論の教育を義務付けたり、進化論は「理論にすぎない」という注釈をつけるように学校に義務付けたりするなど、別の手段を試みるようになった。これらの試みの多くが、結果として判例となった。それには以下のものがある。
Wright v. Houston Independent School District (1972)
Willoughby v. Stever (1973)
Daniel v. Waters (1975)
Hendren v. Campbell (1977)
Segraves v. California (1981)
McLean v. Arkansas (1982)
Edwards v. Aguillard (1987)
Webster v. New Lenox School District (1990)
Bishop v. Aronov (1991)
Peloza v. Capistrano School District (1994)
Hellend v. South Bend Community School Corporation (1996)
Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education (1997)
Edwards v. California University of Pennsylvania (1998)
LeVake v. Independent School District 656 (2000)
Selman v. Cobb County School District (2005)
Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005)
Scopes v. State - 1925
Everson v. Board of Education - 1947
Joseph Burstyn, Inc v. Wilson - 1952
Engel v. Vitale - 1962
Abington School District v. Schempp - 1963
Alvin W. Johnson, Frank H. Yost. Separation of Church and State in the United States. Univ Of Minnesota Press; Minnesota Archive Editions edition. ISBN 978-0-8166-5965-4.
Nelkin, Dorothy (2000). The Creation Controversy: Science or Scripture in Schools. New York: iUniverse. pp. 242. ISBN 0-595-00194-7.
Larson, Edward John (2003). Trial and error: the American controversy over creation and evolution (3, revised ed.).
Epperson v. State of Arkansas, Supreme Court of the United States, 1968, 393 U.S. 97, 89 S. Ct 266, full text
Text of Arkansas Supreme Court decision quoted in US Supreme Court Justice Fortas' opinion, footnote 7, "Upon the principal issue, that of constitutionality, the court holds that Initiated Measure No. 1 of 1928...is a valid exercise of the state's power to specify the curriculum in its public schools. The court expresses no opinion on the question whether the Act prohibits any explanation of the theory of evolution or merely prohibits teaching that the theory is true; the answer not being necessary to a decision in the case, and the issue not having been raised."
US Supreme Court Justice Harlan concluded the brevity of the opinion signaled a deliberate attempt to sidestep the controversy between evolution and religion. Larson, Edward John (2003). Trial and error: the American controversy over creation and evolution (3, revised ed.)., p 108
Storm Clouds on the Horizon of Darwinism, Jeffrey F. Addicott, Ohio State Law Journal, Vol. 63:1507, 2002
U.P.L and Reuter. Arkansas school ban on Darwin overruled
From DAVID SPANIER
Washington, Nov. 12
The United States Supreme Court today struck down the Arkansas "monkey law ", which bans teaching of the Darwinian theory of evolution in the state schools.
The statute in question forbids teaching the theory " that mankind ascended or descended from a lower order of animals ". Teachers who do so are liable to a fine of up to $500 (￡208) and dismissal. The decision will also affect indirectly Mississippi, the only other state with an anti-evolution law on its books.
The Supreme Court unanimously reversed a decision of the Arkansas Supreme Court upholding the state statute. Justice Abe Fortas, speaking for the higher court, said the "laws effort was confined to an attempt to blot out a particular theory because of its supposed conflict with the biblical account literally read. "
The law in Arkansas was held to be contrary to the mandate of the first amendment and in violation of the fourteenth amendment to the constitution, the Supreme Court's opinion said. The first amendment guarantees freedom of religion and the fourteenth makes the guarantee binding on the states.
Justice Fortas noted that there was no record of any prosecutions under the Arkansas statute and " it is possible that (it) is presently more of a curiosity than a vital fact of life"
There had been some confusion during arguments on the case about whether the law forbade teaching that the Darwinian theory was true or merely teaching of its existence. Justice Fortas said this distinction did not matter, as under either interpretation it must be rejected because of its conflict with constitutional law.
The state of Arkansas had argued that it alone was responsible for the curriculum of its public (state) schools. Justice Fortas conceded that right, but said it could not conflict with constitional guarantees. " It is clear that fundamentalist sectarian conviction was and is the law's reason for existence ", he said.
The suit was brought by Mrs John Epperson, aged 27, when she was teaching biology in the tenth grade at Little Rock's Central High School. She now lives in suburban Washington. She was joined in the suit by Mr. H. H. Blanchard, assistant secretary of the Arkansas Education Association and the father of school-age children.
The "monkey law" gave rise to one of the most famous trials of the century, in Dayton, Tennessee, in 1927. This was when Clarence Darrow, the great criminal lawyer, defended a local teacher against the prosecution for the state by William Jennings Bryan, twice a defeated presidential candidate.
Although Darrow lost the particular case -- the trial, conducted outside the courthouse under a big tree, attracted the attention of the entire nation by virtue of celebrity of the protagonists -- he was generally judged to have won the war for Darwin and freedom of speech.
27歳のMrs. John EppersonはLittle Rock's Central High Schoolの10年生に生物を教えていたときに、この訴訟を起こした。彼女は現在はワシントン郊外に住んでいる。彼女は、Arkansas Education Associationのassistant secretaryであり、学齢期の子供の父であるMr. H. H. Blanchardの訴訟に参加した。
The issue was not so much the advisability of teaching the theory of evolution as the relevance of fundamentalist biblical doctrine in the modern world. When the patriarchal figure of Bryan took the stand, Darrow subjected him to a point by point cross-examination on the Book of Genesis which, by contemporary accounts, was majestic in its forensic style and pitiful in its effect upon the prosecution.
Bryan had sought to argue that the Tennessee law against teaching evolutionary theory was justified by reference to the literal truth of the Bible. Darrow showed that in seeking to uphold every single statement in the Book of Genesis as literal truth, the fundamentalists were ridiculous.
It was not until last year, however, when a member brought a monkey in a cage into the Tennessee House of Representatives, that the law in the state was repealed.
On this last occasion in Arkansas, Mrs. Epperson saw it was her duty as a biology teacher to explain scientific theories of evolution to her students, including that of Darwin.
Washington, Nov. 12.-Justices Hugo L. Black, John M. Harlan and Potter Stewart, concurred separately in the Supreme Court judgment. The Arkansas law was passed in 1926, three years after the famous trial of John T. Scopes in neighbouring Tennessee on a similar charge.