Federal judge to leave bench to head Dickinson College

  • The Associated Press

(Harrisburg) — The federal judge who outlawed “intelligent design” from being taught in public schools and struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage will leave the bench to become the president at Dickinson College, the school said Friday.

John E. Jones III, the chief judge of the U.S. Middle District of Pennsylvania, will resign this summer to take a two-year term as interim president of the Carlisle-based Dickinson. Jones currently chairs the school’s board of trustees and graduated from Dickinson in 1977.

Margee M. Ensign will resign as president of Dickinson on June 30, and return to Nigeria to become president of American University of Nigeria, the post she held before becoming president of Dickinson in 2017, the school said.

Jones was appointed to the federal bench by then-President George W. Bush in 2002.

In 2005, Jones barred Dover School District in southern Pennsylvania from teaching “intelligent design” in biology class, saying the concept is creationism in disguise and unconstitutional. The ruling resounded across the county, and was one of the biggest courtroom clashes between faith and evolution since the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial.

In 2014, Jones threw out Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage, a decision that made same-sex matrimony legal throughout the state.

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