NOM BLOG

Law Professor Alleges U. of Iowa Discriminated Against Her For Her ProLife Views

 

In a groundbreaking lawsuit, Teresa Wagner is alleging a public university law school discriminated against her for exercising her First Amendment rights on life and marriage, as the New York Times reports:

Teresa R. Wagner is a conservative Republican who wants to teach law. Her politics may have hurt her career.

An official of the University of Iowa College of Law, where Ms. Wagner applied for a job in 2006, certainly seemed to think so.

“Frankly, one thing that worries me is that some people may be opposed to Teresa serving in any role, in part at least because they so despise her politics (and especially her activism about it),” Associate Dean Jonathan C. Carlson wrote in 2007 to the law school’s dean, Carolyn Jones.

... Walter Olson, a fellow at the Cato Institute, the libertarian group, and the author of “Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America,” said there was nothing unusual about the number of Republicans on Iowa’s law faculty.

“What would count as freakish would be to find two dozen registered Republicans on a big law faculty,” Mr. Olson said. “Law schools are always setting up committees and task forces to promote diversity on their faculty, which can serve to conceal an absence of diversity in how people actually think.”

... The percentages of professors contributing to Democrats were even more lopsided at some of the most prestigious schools: 91 percent at Harvard, 92 at Yale, 94 at Stanford. At the University of Iowa, it was 78 percent. Political affiliations and contributions are, of course, an imperfect proxy for ideology, and political beliefs may in any event have no effect on scholarship and classroom teaching.