In many ways the Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee limited the quality of the public education. John Scopes was a general science teacher in Dayton. He was arrested for violating the Butler Act, which makes teaching evolution in public school unlawful. The law was made by creationists, who believed that the world was created as described in the Bible. His court case would decide whether such a law was constitutional. Scopes taught the theories of Darwin, the originator of today's modern view of evolution. In a massive court battle, two prominent lawyers took each side of the case.
On July 13, 1925 the trial began. On the prosecution was William Jennings Bryan, a former progressive presidential candidate. Also, Circuit Attorney General Arthur Thomas Stewart, and William Jennings Bryan Jr. were on the hearing. On the side of the defense was Chicago criminal attorney Clarence Darrow, lawyer and co-counsel Dudley Field Malone, attorney Arthur Garfield Hays, and Scopes' lawyer, John Randolph Neal. Judge John T. Raulston presided, and the jury was made up of church going farmers.
The case against Scopes was simple. He admittedly taught his class materials that were against the law to teach. However Scopes pleaded innocent, and set out to change the law. "I don't see how a teacher can teach biology without teaching evolution," he said. During the interrogation, Scopes" students remarked that the lessons he taught did not seem to harm them. After that the prosecution rested its case. .
The defense mainly was based around the testimony of 12 witnesses, all scientists and clergymen. The goal was to prove that the Butler Law was unreasonable, and is taking advantage of authority. After all of the questioning, the judged ruled that the testimony was inadmissible. The fundamentalists thought that they had won, because the defense was based on the witnesses" testimony. Then, Arthur Hays unexpectedly called William Jennings Bryan to the stand.