“It is puzzling to the court that the promotion of tolerance would take the appearance of such intolerance as is contained in the religious materials distributed with the Safe Space program.” Federal Judge Owen Forrester writing on diversity at Georgia Tech.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution (AJC) may have taken the place of The New York Times as both the most liberal and least credible paper in America. And Andrea Jones may well be the least professional reporter at the AJC.
Some will recall Jones’ crass assertion that plaintiffs in the recent Sklar v. Clough federal case against Georgia Tech were suing for the right to be “intolerant.” When I called her out on this, she responded via email suggesting I lacked credibility by saying that I was just a “blogger.” This is significant because I have never “blogged” nor inhaled while doing so. In other words, Jones used a factual inaccuracy in an effort to defend herself against my accusation that she is prone to factual inaccuracies. People like Andrea Jones make my job very easy. Now, I can even wear pajamas while I work.
Of course, when a federal judge stated that, in this case, he was surprised by the level of intolerance in the name of tolerance exhibited by Georgia Tech, Jones was not there to give the statement the ink it deserved. But she did help Tech lie about crucial aspects of the case, which have now been brought to light by Judge Owen Forrester.
Judge Forrester seemed most appalled by a false press release in which Tech officials said that the institute “will not be required to take any action” and that “the judge ruled in favor of the Georgia Tech free speech zone policy and the use of student activity fees” and, finally, that “Georgia Tech practices are exactly the same as before the suit was filed.”
Here’s what Judge Forrester had to say: “Anyone with passing familiarity of the instant litigation would not be faulted for questioning the accuracy of numerous portions of this short press release. In fact, all three of the four challenged policies are materially different than they were before the suit. As to the fourth, although this court did not order a change, the court did not discuss Georgia Tech’s student activity fee program for 23 pages in any way to ‘rule in favor’ of the program …”
The fact that the federal court did not believe plaintiffs Sklar and Malhotra had standing to challenge the student activity fee program is not the same thing as saying that the plaintiffs lost and Tech won. For those who don’t understand what that means, Judge Forrester offers an explanation:
“(T)he court’s order on summary judgment certainly indicates potential constitutional pitfalls to the manner in which Georgia Tech administers its student activity fee program. Based on Head (the relevant precedent), the court finds that Plaintiffs are the only prevailing party in this litigation.
Just in case Andrea Jones failed to grasp the meaning of the last paragraph, here is a translation that even a blogger could understand: Georgia Tech lost and is in danger of being sued again.
And www.DrAdams.org is looking forward to another battle with Georgia Tech. But there is little doubt that Tech will try to avoid an admission of defeat when they get caught with their pants down again.
Last time around, Judge Forrester ruled that “Defendants Dean Ray and President Clough in their official and individual capacities had violated the Establishment Clause by favoring one religion over another in the state-associated Safe Space Program…” Consequently, the court “directed Defendants to remove the religious information from the Safe Space training manual.”
Nonetheless, Tech tried to get out of paying legal fees to the prevailing party by saying they obeyed the order a year before it was issued. Judge Forrester called Tech out on this lie as well:
“Defendants motion for reconsideration is based on an assertion that religious material had been removed from the Office of Diversity Program’s Safe Space web site a year prior to the court’s ruling. This was certainly news to the court. This court had been dealing with motions regarding the religious material for about eight months and used every means known to it to encourage settlement. At no time did the Attorney General for the State of Georgia even hint that the issue was moot and instead continued to litigate aggressively.”
Judge Owen Forrester rebuked Georgia Tech in his latest legal ruling, which mentioned “the lack of candor of Georgia Tech throughout the litigation of this case.” Someone needs to do the same to Andrea Jones and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Their lack of journalistic integrity is an embarrassment to bloggers everywhere.