March 11, 2013
District Judge Dismisses Conservative Faculty Candidate's Motion for New Trial in Bias Suit Against Iowa Law School
Following up on my previous posts (links below) about Teresa Wagner's federal lawsuit claiming she was denied a faculty position because of her conservative views: Des Moines Register: No New Trial for Conservative U of I Worker:
A conservative Republican who sued the University of Iowa, saying the school denied her promotion multiple times because of her political orientation, lost her appeal Friday for a new trial.
Teresa Wagner, 48, was at the center of the high-profile trial in federal court in Davenport last year.
Wagner argued that she was denied a promotion at the U of I law school’s writing center because of her conservative history, including work with the Family Research Council, which opposes same-sex marriage, and the National Right to Life Committee, which opposes abortion.
Her legal team presented testimony and evidence at trial claiming she was far more qualified than other applicants given jobs that she applied for beginning in late 2006. University officials, however, said she failed to grasp the concept of a writing instructor’s position and failed a key interview.
A 12-person federal jury decided the law school was not guilty of political discrimination, which was the highest-profile allegation in the case. However, the jury was unable to reach a verdict as to whether the school had violated Wagner’s equal protection rights, leading to a mistrial on that count. A third count, alleging a violation of Wagner’s due process rights, was dismissed prior to being considered by the jury. ...
[The federal district judge] on Friday issued a 43-page ruling rejecting Wagner’s arguments and denying a new trial. He also granted the law school defendants’ motion to dismiss the count that the school had violated Wagner’s equal protection rights.
Press and blogosphere coverage:
- Jonathan Adler (Case Western), Ideological Bias Suit Against Iowa Law Dismissed
- David Bernstein (George Mason), Color Me Skeptical
- The Blaze, Judge Denies New Trial for Conservative Scholar Who Says She Was Denied Promotions Because of Her Politics
- Chronicle of Higher Education, U. of Iowa Scholar Loses Appeal for New Trial in Bias Case
- The Daily Iowan, UI Professor Speaks About College of Law's Discrimination Lawsuit
- Herbert Hovenkamp (Iowa), Statement on the Dismissal of Teresa Wagner's Lawsuit
- William Jacobson (Cornell), Conservative Iowa Law Professor Denied New Trial in Political Discrimination Case
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Unsuccessful Iowa Legal Writing Faculty Candidate Sues, Claiming Discrimination Due to Her Conservative Views (Jan. 29, 2009)
- Judge Dismisses Claim by Unsuccessful Iowa Legal Writing Faculty Candidate Alleging Discrimination Due to Her Conservative Views (Apr. 2, 2010)
- Unsuccessful Iowa Legal Writing Faculty Candidate Appeals Dismissal of Suit Claiming Discrimination Due to Her Conservative Views (July 13, 2010)
- 8th Circuit Re-institutes Discrimination Lawsuit by Unsuccessful Republican Faculty Candidate Against Iowa Law School Dean (Dec. 29, 2011)
- NY Times on Unsuccessful Republican Law Faculty Candidate's Discrimination Lawsuit Against Iowa (Jan. 10, 2012)
- Federal Trial Begins Today in Unsuccessful Republican Faculty Candidate's Discrimination Complaint Against Iowa Law School (Oct. 15, 2012)
- Iowa Law Prof: School Retaliated Against Me for Testifying That Liberal Bias 'Corrupts Everything School Touches' (Oct. 19, 2012)
- Jury Splits in Conservative Faculty Candidate's Hiring Bias Suit Against Iowa Law School (Oct. 25, 2012)
- Jurors Agree: University of Iowa Law School Discriminated Against Faculty Applicant Due to Her Conservative Views (Nov. 24, 2012)
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This won't be the last time a law school is sued for discrimination and there's a pretty good chance someone will win eventually.
Posted by: michael livingston | Mar 11, 2013 5:11:26 AM
Anyone with an ounce of honesty and a brain can see that justice was denied.
Posted by: Woody | Mar 11, 2013 9:40:20 AM
Just a wild guess, but maybe the legal aid working, Tom Harkin supported, Bill Clinton nominated, ACLU siding, anti-prison ministry judge, who was fascinated by Justice Sotomayor, might have made up his mind before hearing any arguments. Again, just a wild guess.
With discrimination against conservatives in law schools, court appointments resort to being stacked with liberal judges who perpetuate that discriminataion, as in this case.
The Rating Room - Hon. Robert W. Pratt
- Superbly intelligent judge. However, litigants feel he uses his intellect for a certain agenda. - A judicial hack for every traditional liberal cause imaginable who complains while marching on his crusade.
Posted by: Woody | Mar 11, 2013 5:39:37 PM
Look at her publications. Not one work of scholarship--just a few think tank propaganda pamphlets and edited collections.
If this is the best Iowa can come up with for a legal writing instructor, and the best example of supposed liberal discrimination that conservatives can come up with, both law schools and conservatives have a serious problem.
Posted by: Anon | Mar 12, 2013 8:57:08 AM
Maybe she'll become president!
The myth of the 'rock-star professor'
And, unlike others on the Chicago Law School faculty who published numerous articles in legal journals, Obama's byline did not appear in a single legal journal while he taught there.
Posted by: Woody | Mar 13, 2013 9:56:54 AM