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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

8th Circuit Rejects Unsuccessful Iowa Legal Writing Faculty Candidate's Claim Of Discrimination Due To Her Conservative Views

WagnerFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Teresa MANNING, formerly known as Teresa R. Wagner, Plaintiff-Appellant v. Carolyn JONES, Dean, Iowa College of Law (in her official and individual capacities), Defendant-Appellee. Gail B. Agrawal, Dean, Iowa College of Law (in her official and individual capacities), Defendant, 875 F.3d 408 (8th Cir. 2017):

Teresa Manning repeatedly applied without success to teach legal analysis and writing at the University of Iowa College of Law. She contends that, during the process attending her first application, an associate dean advised her not to tell the faculty, only one of whom was a registered Republican, that a conservative law school had once offered her a full-time teaching position. Manning's résumé, meanwhile, made plain her affiliation with conservative groups. Claiming that the dean of the College of Law had rejected her applications due to political discrimination in violation of the First Amendment, Manning sued the dean under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

This is our third pass at this case. See Wagner v. Jones, 664 F.3d 259 (8th Cir. 2011) (Wagner I); Wagner v. Jones, 758 F.3d 1030 (8th Cir. 2014) (Wagner II). After the second remand, Manning proceeded to trial before a jury, where the dean defended herself by asserting, among other things, that Manning's applications had been rejected on their merits. The jury found that Manning did not establish that the dean had discriminated against her on the basis of her politics, and the district court denied her motion for a new trial. On appeal, Manning contests only the denial of her new-trial motion, and we affirm.

The routine failure of the appellant's main brief to cite the "parts of the record on which [she] relies," see Fed. R. App. P. 28(a)(8)(A), has considerably hampered our review of this case. We cannot tell whether the district court erred in a ruling if Manning does not direct us to a place in the record where we can find it, and so we consider only those contentions that include appropriate citations.

The Legal Examiner, Did a Law School Discriminate Against a Woman for Being Politically Conservative? Court Denies Woman’s Claims of School’s Violation of First Amendment Rights.

For more on Ms. Manning's post-Iowa career, see:

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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