Saturday, April 11, 2009

What's next in the Ward Churchill wrongful termination suit?

Now that Churchill has won the first round, there are some questions about what happens in the next few weeks when Judge Naves has to rule on such matters as reinstatement. The folks at The Race to the Bottom have been providing detailed analysis of the trial including attempts to address such questions. The basic gist is that Churchill should probably prevail when it comes to CU's paying Churchill's legal fees as well as CU being required to reinstate Churchill to his faculty position. I say "probably" only because judges don't always follow precedent, and even when they try to follow precedent there may be enough in previous rulings that is sufficiently ambiguous and open to interpretation. In addition, Judge Naves is probably facing enormous political pressure - given the politically incorrect nature of Churchill's writings - to make Churchill's victory a pyhrric victory. For the time being, I'm cautiously optimistic that the good professor will prevail and that academic freedom is slightly less tenuous than I had feared.

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