AAUP and ACLU Back Ward Churchill Appeal

February 22, 2010

The American Association of University Professors, the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado and the National Coalition Against Censorship filed a brief last week backing the appeal of Ward Churchill, who is seeking in a Colorado appeals court to regain his job as a tenured professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While a district court jury found that Churchill had been fired inappropriately, the judge in the case declined to give Churchill his job back and effectively backed the university's view that he had been dismissed for scholarly misconduct. Aden Fine, a lawyer with the ACLU First Amendment Working Group, said in a statement on the case: "The First Amendment prohibits public officials from suppressing lawful speech or retaliating against those who engage in such speech, no matter how unpopular or offensive the speech may be to some people. That is especially the case in the university setting, where the Supreme Court has made clear that First Amendment freedoms must be vigilantly protected." The brief is available here.

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