Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige issued a tentative ruling Thursday saying he was leaning toward finding in favor of JPL, which had argued at trial that David Coppedge was let go because he was combative and did not keep his skills sharp, not because of his belief that life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone.Concerning ID, and the fact that the prosecution made that the focal point of their case, the judge seems to have carefully worded his ruling:
"It does not specify the court's reasoning and it would be foolhardy to discern from its general language that the court had anything to say about the validity of intelligent design as a scientific theory or as a religious belief," Becker said. "We don't believe it was about religious belief, but David's co-workers perceived it as one and that's equally offensive under the law."About Coppedge, they continue:
At trial, JPL attorney Cameron Fox contended Coppedge was a stubborn and disconnected employee who decided not to heed warnings to get additional training, even when it became clear the Cassini mission would be downsized and computer specialist positions eliminated.This tracks with testimony given about the tenure of Coppedge at JPL. People typically don't care what you believe if you are hard to get along with. They just want you gone. A very unfortunate situation.
Coppedge often was confrontational and insensitive to customers and colleagues, who had complained about his behavior and his advocacy of intelligent design, Fox said.