13 August 2010

3133) Court of Appeals Rules Against Genocide Denial ( Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), Griswold vs. Driscoll :Full Text of Decision

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com . . WASHINGTON, DC—On August 11, in a unanimous opinion written by retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court David Souter, sitting on a three judge panel including Michael Boudin and Jeffery R. Howard of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, affirmed the decision of a lower court dismissing the Griswold v. Driscoll case, in which plaintiffs argued for the inclusion of genocide denial literature in the Massachusetts human rights curriculum, reported the Armenian Assembly of America.

The suit filed in 2005 under the guise of a First Amendment case by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) and its supporters hoped to undermine the teaching of the Armenian Genocide in public schools by inserting genocide denial literature in the state mandated curriculum. ATAA was joined in its campaign by the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund, whose principal spokesperson, Bruce Fein, is one of the most vocal deniers of the Armenian Genocide. The Court’s decision effectively marks a major defeat for deniers.

The court explicitly ruled against ATAA for waiting so long to complain, and ruled against the individual plaintiffs on First Amendment and standing grounds.

Significantly, the court decided that the Guide on Armenian Genocide instruction fit into the curriculum classification rather than a school library, and even if the school library cases did apply, that law would not allow the genocide denial actions that the plaintiffs sought.

The plaintiffs’ attorney Harvey Silverglate took the position that “contra-genocide” websites should be included in the curriculum, overlooking the inherent contradiction of “contra-genocide” information, which does hold a position on the Armenian Genocide by disputing or denying it. Silverglate also failed to advise the court that the websites in question, whether of the ATAA or the Turkish Embassy, display brazenly denialist pages on the Armenian Genocide, therein holding yet again a very distinct view of history, disqualifying them as either pedagogically objective or scholarly.

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) welcomed the United States Court of Appeals First Circuit decision affirming a lower court’s dismissal of the Griswold vs. Driscoll case. Spearheaded by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), the Griswold vs. Driscoll lawsuit sought to compel the inclusion of historically inaccurate Armenian Genocide denial materials in the Massachusetts education curriculum.

ANCA executive director Aram Hamparian said, “We welcome the Court’s landmark decision rejecting profoundly hateful and misguided pressure on educators to teach Armenian Genocide denial in America’s public schools. We are deeply gratified to have played a meaningful role, along with our partners in the Armenian Bar Association, Irish Immigration Center, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, the Genocide Education Project, and the Zoryan Institute, in this major legal victory. We also want to especially thank Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr for their representation to ensure that America’s schoolchildren learn the truth about the Armenian Genocide and all instance of man’s inhumanity to man.”

To read the First Circuit Court decision, click Here or see below:

Armenian Weekly


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