A Los Angeles judge rejected a request Wednesday afternoon by Jet Propulsion Laboratory attorneys to bar the media when employees testify in a workplace discrimination case.
The case is based on former JPL systems administrator David Coppedge’s claim that he was fired unfairly after discussing the theory of intelligent design with coworkers. The theory is a seen as a challenge to the theory of evolution and holds that God or another force created the universe.
Coppedge said his efforts to engage colleagues on intelligent design on the ballot measure seeking to ban gay marriage in California,Prop. 8, led to his discipline and termination. JPL denies the claims.
In court, attorneys for JPL asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige to bar the media from testimony by JPL workers.
"It's unfair to put these people through that kind of exposure on these sorts of personal subjects," James Zapp, lead attorney for JPL, said Tuesday. "They didn’t bring this lawsuit, we're trying to protect employees who are innocent in this process."