Scopes Trial Opening Statement.
We the defense, believe our client is innocent. Why you might ask, becuase no law was ever broken.According to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion and what does this The Butler Act do? It outlawed in state-funded schools, including universities, the teaching of "any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible." So John T. Scope never broke a law. The one who should be here instead is Austin Peay for signing a piece of state legislation that was violating the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The first amedment granted freedom of expression giving Scopes the right to teach evolution and also granted freedom of religion giving Scopes the right to believe in anything he wants. The state requires teachers to use a textbook, Hunter's Civic Biology, which explicitly describes and endorses the theory of evolution, and that teachers were therefore effectively requires Scope to break the law.
At the end of the day, Scope has never broken any Federal law which says that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion. Furthermore, Tennessee state laws about education says that teachers are to teach from the books they are given and the book that Scope read from had evolution giving Scope the upper hand, because of Federal law over State power. We all have freedom of religion and freedom of express and by that we mean Scope has the right to say whatever he wants and the right to believe in anything he wants, either it be religion or not.
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