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Opinion: Morning Examiner

North Carolina jury upholds conservative professor's freedom of speech rights on campus

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,First Amendment,Freedom of Speech

There is a maxim that one person's freedom ends at another person's nose. That's not quite how it works in the academic world when the swinger is the liberal powers-that-be and the swingee is a conservative professor.

The Alliance Defending Freedom and the American Center for Law and Justice won a significant victory in a North Carolina court this week for restoring the maxim's equal application on campus.

The two conservative legal activist firms sued on behalf of University of North Carolina-Wilmington criminology professor Mike Adams who claimed school officials when it denied his promotion application to full professor due to his conservative political views.

First Amendment applied equally

According to ACLJ, Adams' attorneys argued "that university officials improperly considered his First Amendment-protected speech in the course of their promotion decision, disregarded the university's own promotion standards and guidelines, and forwarded false and misleading information about Dr. Adams' academic accomplishments as part of an effort to block his promotion to full professor."

The jury agreed with Adams who is an avowed Christian and conservative who frequently writes articles on Townhall.com criticizing liberal suppression of freedom of speech and thought on campus.

"The verdict represents a significant victory for the First Amendment and for academic freedom, sending a message nationwide that colleges and universities will be held accountable if they attempt to impose ideological, religious, or political litmus tests on professors or students," ACLJ said in a statement on the verdict.

The judge in the case will decide Adams' relief at a later date. Go here for more on the case.

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Author:

Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner