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Spin-Off from Arkansas Creation-Evolution Lawsuit


On October 1, 1981, the Creation Social Science and Humanities Society was subpoenaed by a Wichita, Kansas, law firm to produce a considerable number of its records for the use of the plaintiffs in the Arkansas creation - evolution law Suit. According to an editorial in the Arkansas Democrat of May 31, 1981, the American Civil Liberties Union is a co-plaintiff in that law Suit.

Among the records requested by the subpoena were, for instance,

The "Definitions and Instructions" attached to the subpoena demanded the widest possible interpretation of the requests. They even demanded (Point "F"): "All documents called for by this subpoena shall be produced in the files, if any, in which they were found."

We believed that the subpoena was an encroachment upon our Constitutional right of free speech, upon our privacy, and was an incredibly broad "fishing expedition" totally unrelated to the Arkansas law Suit all the more so since we have had no contact whatsoever with any member of the Arkansas state legislature or State government. We felt that we must contest the subpoena simply because it was plainly unjust and really a form of "legal" harassment. We therefore contested the matter in the U.S. District Court of Kansas in Wichita. We were represented by Attorney Earl C. Moore of Wichita. The other side was represented by a Wichita law firm, but also flew in Mr. Gary Crawford, an attorney from New York City, to argue their case. Mr. Crawford submitted a brief in the case to the U.S. District Court in Wichita.

In his brief, Mr. Crawford explained that the purpose of the subpoena, extended not only upon the CSSHS but also upon other creation-science related groups elsewhere in the USA, was to find out (i) exactly what "creation-science" is, what beliefs creationists hold, and what the scientific basis for those beliefs is; (ii) to find out the aims and purposes of, as well as the relationship and contacts among, the creation groups; and (iii) to find out about any connection or contact between creation groups and the Arkansas Creationism Act. Mr. Crawford then explained why the documents sought in the subpoena should be considered relevant to the Arkansas case.

The case came on for a hearing before the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas on October 28, 1981. We are happy to report that U.S. District Court Judge Patrick Kelly ruled in favor of the Creation Social Science and Humanities Society and Mrs. Ellen Myers, its Secretary-Treasurer, and quashed the subpoena. We quote briefly from Judge Kelly's ruling:

From Transcript of Proceedings, U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, Case No. LR-C-81 -322 in the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division, Rev. Bill McLean, et al, Plaintiffs, vs. the State of Arkansas, et al, Defendants, pp, 29 ff.).

(Also see: www.creationism.org/lang/Lang2DecadesCrtn/, Chap. 5 )
 
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