Suit Claims Law School Denied Jobs to Conservative Because of Liberal Bias
Posted Jan 27, 2009 6:38 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A conservative who applied for two legal writing positions at the University of Iowa law school claims in a federal lawsuit that she was rejected for the jobs because of her political views.
The suit by Teresa Wagner, a part-timer who is associate director of the school’s legal writing center, claims the school violated her First and 14th Amendment rights, according to the Iowa Press-Citizen. At least 46 of the law school’s approximately 50 faculty members are registered Democrats, according to the suit, and only one, a person hired 20 years ago, is a Republican.
Wagner’s resumé includes positions with two conservative organizations, the National Right to Life Committee and the Family Research Council, the suit says. She contends less-qualified candidates landed the jobs, and one of them later resigned and admitted he was not qualified, according to the Press-Citizen account of the suit.
Wagner’s lawyer, Stephen Fieweger, told the Des Moines Register that his client “wants to make it known that conservatives need not apply" at the law school. "Liberals talk about diversity, except when it comes to bringing in a different, conservative point of view,” he said.
Law school dean Carolyn Jones denied that politics had anything to do with Wagner’s failure to get the jobs. "I agree with the ultimate decision of the faculty. She was not the best candidate for the position,” Jones told the Press-Citizen in a separate story. “Her allegation of bias is a little hard to make when she continues to work at the law school.”
Hat tip to TaxProf Blog.