Federal Judge John E. Jones III for the Middle District of Pennsylvania is my nominee for Man of the Year.
Providing a lone bright spot in an otherwise bleak year, especially for federal employees and elected officials, Judge Jones ruled December 20th in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District that "Intelligent Design" (ID) is not science and should not be taught as such in public schools. You can read his entire ruling here. Judge Jones receives my nomination less because of stating the obvious than the clear and straightforward language he used in his ruling. Go John E., Go.
Before the ruling, in a confirmation of sorts that ID is a thinly veiled form of creationism, Pat Robertson warned the citizens of Dover, who had already voted out of office the School Board members responsible for the pro-ID policy, that disaster might strike their community because they "voted God out of your city." But Judge Jones was not intimidated.
What made the ruling all the more galling to the right wingnuts was that Judge Jones, a long-time Republican, was appointed by George W. Bush and approved unanimously by the Republican controlled Senate. One might wonder if, as he prepared his ruling, the judge weighed how it might affect his career. Should we then praise him for his courage? Or just acknowledge an honest man.