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The College Fix: Just three months after it started working with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to revise policies, the University of Florida has earned the student rights’ group’s highest rating for free-speech protection on campus.
The Washington Post: Last week I blogged about the case of Steven Salaita, an academic who was offered a lateral position at the University of Illinois only to have the offer rescinded, apparently due to Salaita’s penchant for vitriolic tweets about Israel. The University’s action have prompted a debate over academic freedom, and whether it is ever appropriate for universities to consider a professor’s comments outside of class.
Alliance Defending Freedom: “Public universities should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” says Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker, who heads the ADF public university legal team. “For them to do otherwise is to act contrary to their very reason for existence and is frequently unconstitutional as well. Our efforts to protect freedom at public universities are motivated by one desire: to ensure that the marketplace of ideas that a university is supposed to be stays that way for everyone.”
National Review: The First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech and the Supreme Court has long held that state governments and their institutions are bound by that limitation too. It does not say that state institutions cannot decline to employ someone on account of intemperate statements that call into question his fitness for a job.
3AW: Jewish students are allegedly being assaulted and refused entry into lectures at universities around Melbourne.
The College Fix: “It’s encouraging that we are seeing courts uphold this fundamental First Amendment freedom in the places where some of the greatest ideas and movements in history have been birthed,” Kerri Kupec, a spokeswoman for Alliance Defending Freedom, said in an email to The College Fix.
The Washington Post: How should faculty hiring committees or university administration view Twitter? Should a professor’s intemperate tweets affect his or her job security? Is tweeting only safe for those of us with tenure? These questions are raised by the decision of the University of Illinois to rescind a job offer to a lateral faculty candidate, Steven Salaita.
Yahoo News: A Democrat on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission has urged campus restrictions on First Amendment-protected speech because, he believes, the still-developing brains of college students cannot properly process certain dangerous ideas.
One News Now: Take the case of Gordon College in Massachusetts, which was founded by A.J. Gordon to train college students in understanding and underscoring the authority of God’s Word. Gordon College’s slogan has been: “Freedom within a framework of faith,” meaning that faith in Christ provides the power for freedom over sin.
The Christian Post: President Obama recently signed an executive order making it illegal for federal contractors to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. Sounds innocuous enough, but an unintended consequence may be the closing of Christian colleges and schools.
Alliance Defending Freedom: As the primary issue explored in the movie God’s Not Dead, college freshman Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) is faced with this dilemma on the first day of philosophy class from Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). With a stunning debut at the box office, God’s Not Dead trailed only Divergent and The Grand Budapest Hotel in popularity on opening weekend. Now, it’s available on DVD and Blu-ray.
National Review: The U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner thinks that college students are not sufficiently developed for free speech rights.
Christian News Network: Northwestern University, a public institution in Illinois, has announced that it will offer ‘gender open’ restrooms to its students beginning this fall in order to be more accommodating to ‘transgender’ students.
Campus Reform: The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a legal organization that fights for religious freedom and justice, has had a record year in defending the liberties of students at public and private universities across the nation.
One News Now: “They’re going to promote Dr. Adams to the full professor position he was unlawfully denied seven years ago,” he tells OneNewsNow. “They’re going to pay him $50,000 in back pay, they’re going to adopt some procedures to protect him from further retaliation in the upcoming years, and they’re going to pay attorneys fees.”
Public Discourse: Requiring all colleges and universities to adopt the same practices and policies would destroy their institutional identities and prevent them from achieving their diverse missions.
Alliance Defending Freedom: According to the most recent data compiled this week, Alliance Defending Freedom is having its most successful year to date in protecting freedom at America’s public universities and protecting private religious universities from the Obama administration. As part of its legal efforts to defend constitutionally protected freedoms from grammar school to graduate school, ADF has the largest and most experienced team of attorneys dedicated to university issues.
One News Now: An undercover report by Voice of the Voiceless found LGBTQ campus resource centers in Virginia are intimidating and threatening students who want help getting out of unwanted, same-sex attractions and are seeking information about ex-”gay” counseling.
Religion Clause: CBS News reports on a state court lawsuit filed earlier this week by a former electron microscope technician in the Biology Department of California State University Northridge.
Christian News Network: A legal defense organization filed a lawsuit this week against California State University, alleging that the school fired a biologist for discovering scientific evidence that contradicted evolutionary theory.
The Washington Times: Murray State University has designated three single-person restrooms as gender neutral restrooms available to any person regardless of gender identity or expression.
The Wall Street Journal: When D. Michael Lindsey, the president of a well-known Christian college in Wenham, Mass., called Gordon College, signed a letter to President Barack Obama with 13 other religious leaders on July 1, he can’t have known what he was getting into.
The Washington Times: “The university has chosen the right course in opting to stop defending its unconstitutional actions, to right the wrong done to Dr. Adams by granting him the promotion he has long deserved, and to protect him against future retaliation,” said Travis Barham, attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the professor.
Christian News Network: A public university in Illinois is raising concern over a recently published online how-to guide that instructs health and social service providers how to assist residents in obtaining an abortion.
The Christian Post: One final note: I’d like to thank our co-counsel in the case, the Alliance Defending Freedom, and particularly Travis Barham, the ADF attorney who put in hundreds of hours defending Dr. Adams’s constitutional rights. Outstanding work, Travis and ADF.
Campus Reform: “The important aspect is [the outcome of the case] reaffirms the basic principle of the First Amendment,” Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF) Litigation Staff Counsel Travis Barham told Campus Reform. “Universities have to treat Christian and conservative professors fairly; otherwise there will be consequences.”
The College Fix: “The outcome of this case reaffirms that public universities must respect the First Amendment freedoms of their professors regardless of the viewpoints they express,” stated attorney Travis Barham, who represented Adams on behalf of Alliance Defending Freedom.
National Review: One final note: I’d like to thank our co-counsel in the case, the Alliance Defending Freedom, and particularly Travis Barham, the ADF attorney who put in hundreds of hours defending Dr. Adams’s constitutional rights. Outstanding work, Travis and ADF.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Criminology professor Dr. Mike Adams’ seven-year quest to vindicate his First Amendment freedoms concluded with a settlement in his favor Tuesday. In March, a federal jury ruled that the University of North Carolina–Wilmington illegally retaliated against Adams when it denied him a promotion in 2006 because of his conservative views.
Deseret News: The accreditation of an evangelical Christian college near Boston is under review, and a city contract was terminated last week, after the president of Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, signed a letter asking for religious liberty protection under proposed federal anti-discrimination rules involving homosexuals.
The Christian Post: A city in Massachusetts has opted to end a contract with a Christian college over the academic institution’s opposition to homosexuality.
National Review: The accreditors who control what schools have access to federal funding are reviewing a Christian college whose president signed a letter to President Obama pertaining to religious freedom and an executive order about gay rights.
World Magazine: Jack Phillips’ bakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., has become a frontline in the battle for religious liberty. Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, recently refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. The couple filed a complaint against the bakery, which has been in business for more than two decades. I spoke with Phillips in the dining area of Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburbs, where we also connected over the phone with Nicole Martin of the Alliance Defending Freedom.
The Chronicle of Higher Education: Conn suggests that Wheaton and other religious colleges are “intellectually compromised institutions” that betray the intellectual standards that should mark accredited institutions of higher education. Colleges like ours, he argues, “systematically undermine the most fundamental purposes of higher education,” a serious charge that deserves consideration. Let’s think about those fundamental purposes.
Christian colleges like Wheaton should not get accredited because they undermine purpose of higher ed, says UPenn Professor
The Christian Post: Charging that they “undermine the most fundamental purposes of higher education,” Peter Conn, a professor of English and education at the University of Pennsylvania, says Christian colleges like Wheaton in Illinois should not be legitimized through accreditation, which gives their students access to federal funding.
World Magazine: The conversation begins with University of North Carolina-Wilmington professor Dr. Mike Adams, and later Jack Phillips and his attorney Nicolle Martin.
First Things: Of all the bones to pick with contemporary American higher education—and there are many—the University of Pennsylvania’s Peter Conn has decided to call our attention to what he calls “The Great Accreditation Farce.” For him, the farce is that regional accreditors—who hold the keys to all-important federal student aid—actually display a modicum of respect for the distinctive missions of America’s religiously-affiliated colleges.
The Christian Post: Through a “non-discrimination” policy, Bowdoin forbids official student organizations from excluding students from participation and leadership due to their religious beliefs. Groups are free to discriminate, mind you, for a vast number of reasons, but not on the basis of religion.
CNS News: A criminology professor who successfully sued the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) for denying him a promotion because of his conservative and Christian views has been awarded over $700,000 in legal fees.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Travis Barham says those costs could go even higher.
“… The fact is that the case is not yet over. All the judge did was rule on attorneys’ fees,” he explains. “UNC-Wilmington has still appealed the case – and so until they drop that appeal and decide that a seven-year campaign is long enough to try to deny a professor his First Amendment freedoms, then we will continue to defend Dr. Adams vigorously.”
The Zeb Bell Show: Kerri Kupec discusses Parks and Adams cases with Zeb Bell.
The New American: A judge has ordered the University of North Carolina-Wilmington to pay over $700,000 in legal bills incurred by a Christian criminology professor who waged an eight-year battle against the school’s campaign of retaliation because of his conservative and religious views.
WECT: Adams declined to comment further on the outcome of the case and that all further questions will be handled by his attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom.
Star News Online: “UNCW has spent seven years fighting a scorched earth legal battle to deny one professor a promotion that he is rightfully due and now that’s going to cost the taxpayers $700,000,” said Travis Barham, one of Adams’ attorneys. “It’s time for this end.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: A federal court Tuesday ordered the University of North Carolina–Wilmington to pay $710,626.50 in the wake of a seven-year lawsuit that Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys won on behalf of criminology professor Dr. Mike Adams. In April, the court ordered UNCW to grant Dr. Adams a promotion denied to him in 2006 because of his conservative views and pay him back pay.
The New York Times: In a collision between religious freedom and antidiscrimination policies, the student group, and its advisers, have refused to agree to the college’s demand that any student, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, should be able to run for election as a leader of any group, including the Christian association.
The Christian Post: A U.S. District Court has ruled in favor of an evangelical student, who was barred from preaching on campus without prior approval, ruling that outdoor areas of a Virginia Community College System comprising 23 college campuses are “venues for free expression.”
One News Now: UNCW is appealing the jury verdict that in part said Criminology Professor Mike Adams’ First Amendment rights were denied. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Travis Barham explains that the school discriminated against Adams because of his biblical viewpoint.
WHSV: All of Virginia’s community colleges have consented to an order that prevents them from enforcing speech practices that some are calling unconstitutional. An attorney with an organization called Alliance Defending Freedom served as a counsel in the lawsuit.
Christian News Network: The North Carolina House of Representatives has passed a bill protecting students’ rights to religious expression, and allowing teachers and other staff members to voluntary participate in student prayers before or after school.
Suncoast News: Harper is fighting back with help from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group. On May 15, he sued university officials for violating his constitutionally protected right to free speech and religious liberty. If the allegations prove true, Cameron officials have displayed a stunning disregard for the First Amendment.
Alliance Defending Freedom: The Virginia Community College System consented to a court order Tuesday that prohibits it from enforcing unconstitutional speech policies and zones challenged by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a student. The policy changes, which VCCS agreed to make in April, affect all 23 of the system’s schools.
Laura Ingraham: David Cortman and Mike Adams discuss Adams’ case with Laura Ingraham.
One News Now: “One of them said that the Constitution is the foundation of the country but all the policies and laws are built on top of that,”Hacker alleges. “The Constitution is the supreme law of the land,” says the ADF attorney.
The Hays Daily News: Harper is fighting back with help from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group. “I like the amendments to the Constitution,” the equal opportunity officer told Harper, according to the ADF complaint. “They are foundations to democracy. But that’s all they are, foundations. You can’t live on them. You’ll freeze to death in winter and burn up in summer.”
The Daily Herald: Harper is fighting back with help from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group. On May 15, he sued university officials for violating his constitutionally protected right to free speech and religious liberty.
Hays Post: Harper is fighting back with help from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian legal group. On May 15, he sued university officials for violating his constitutionally protected right to free speech and religious liberty.
The Washington Times: Travis Barham, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom who helped represent Mr. Adams, pointed out that a federal judge has not yet issued an award in the case. The university’s notice of intent to appeal filed May 7 also doesn’t mention costs, although the UNCW press release focuses on the prospective hit to taxpayers.
The Washington Times: The University of North Carolina system has directed that in-state tuition be charged to the same-sex spouses of military personnel as long as the couple married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.
The College Fix: “Cameron University’s policy, as applied, gives public officials unfettered authority in picking and choosing who gets to say what and squashes the rights of students to exercise their free speech and religious freedoms,” Kerri Kupec, spokeswoman for Alliance Defending Freedom, said in an email to The College Fix.
Life News: The College of St. Mary gets it. Instead of telling a young woman with an unplanned pregnancy that having a baby would end her career goals, this institution is providing the means for her to both raise her children and earn a diploma.
Michigan Live: The injunction was applauded by Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based Christian legal-advocacy group whose attorneys are representing Cornerstone and Dordt.
“Christian colleges should remain free to operate according to their defining beliefs,” ADF Senior Counsel Gregory Baylor said in a statement. “Under this mandate, religious employers have no real choice: they must either comply and abandon their religious freedom, or resist and be taxed for their faith.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: Sometimes, the bravest thing parents can do in America today is send their children off to school. Kindergarten, elementary school, high school, college – the realms of education are more and more hostile to families who honor faith, cherish freedom … or even just value common sense.
Christian News Network: “Christian colleges should remain free to operate according to their defining beliefs,” added ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor in a press release surrounding the injunction. “Under this mandate, religious employers have no real choice: they must either comply and abandon their religious freedom, or resist and be taxed for their faith.”
“If the government can force Christian colleges to act contrary to their deeply-held religious convictions, then the government can do just about anything,” he said. “The court was right to block enforcement of this unconstitutional mandate.”
The Washington Post: Harper is suing (represented by Alliance Defending Freedom), claiming the action and the underlying university policies violate the First Amendment; I expect him to win handily.
Campus Reform: The court’s decision only affects employees of the universities, which were represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, and not their students. For Dordt, that means it affects 191 employees it insures and their dependents.
KSWO News: “The flyers talked about his beliefs of some other religious groups and what they believed and explained what Mr. Harper believes as a Christian and what he believes the bible says,” explained Hacker. In the official complaint to the school, Daniel Harper says when he tried to fight back, university representative Thomas Russell told him “I like those amendments to the Constitution. They’re foundations to democracy. But that’s all they are, foundations.”
Des Moines Register: A Christian college in northwest Iowa does not have to pay for some types of contraceptives for employees — at least for the time being — a federal judge ruled Wednesday.