Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Following up on my previous posts (links below): Legal Times, Civil Rights Center at UNC Law School Shut Down:
University leaders on Friday voted to strip the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina School of Law of its ability to litigate cases.
The move caps a months-long fight between the predominately Republican board of governors for the University of North Carolina and supporters of the center, who say the board’s push was motivated by politics.
Proponents of the litigation ban said that it was inappropriate for a public university entity to sue local governments when taxpayers must foot the bill, and that the scope of its work fell outside the university’s mission. Those who opposed the ban argued that litigation is a key resource in the fight for civil rights, and that the center’s work is a public service and helps educate future lawyers.
It’s the second time in two years that the UNC board of governors has taken aim at a law school center. That body in 2015 voted to defund the school’s Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity.
With Friday’s vote, the board banned all centers within the university system from engaging in litigation, although the law school’s Center for Civil Rights is the only one that currently bring cases in court. Law clinics are exempt from the ban.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- State May Ban UNC Center For Civil Rights From Engaging In Litigation (May 5, 2017)
- More On The Proposal To Ban The UNC Center For Civil Rights From Engaging In Litigation (Mar. 13, 2017)
- Gene Nichol Criticizes 'Nakedly Ideological' Attack On UNC Center For Civil Rights, Calls Out 'Cowardly' Dean, Provost, And Chancellor (Apr. 16, 2017)
- GOP Senate Cuts UNC Law School's Budget 30% As Payback To Liberal Faculty (Especially Gene Nichol), Rankings Slide From 20 (1979) To 39 (2017) (May 22, 2017)
- UNC Law School Alums Rally Against Proposed 'Catastrophic' 30% Budget Cut As Payback To Liberal Faculty (Especially Gene Nichol) (June 10, 2017)
- Newspaper Editorializes Against GOP Senate's 30% Cut To UNC Law School Budget As 'Petty Revenge Politics' Against Gene Nichol (June 15, 2017)
- North Carolina Senate Cuts $3 Million From UNC Law School Budget: 'The Gene Nichol Transfer Amendment'(June 18, 2017)
- House And Senate Agree To Cut North Carolina Law School's Budget 'Only' 4% ($500k), Not 30% ($4m) Sought By Senate (June 21, 2017)
- UNC Votes To Block Law School Civil Rights Clinic From Taking On New Clients (Aug. 2, 2017)
- Does UNC Board's Vote To 'Defang' Civil Rights Clinic Unduly Intrude On Law School's Curricular Decisions And Academic Freedom? (Aug. 7, 2017)