[News] Ward Churchill appeal says judge erred

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jul 23 10:27:57 EDT 2009

Churchill appeal says judge erred

An accompanying affidavit states the jury wanted CU to rehire the ex-professor.
<mailto:fcardona at denverpost.com?subject=The%20Denver%20Post:%20Churchill%20appeal%20says%20judge%20erred>By 
Felisa Cardona
<mailto:fcardona at denverpost.com?subject=The%20Denver%20Post:%20Churchill%20appeal%20says%20judge%20erred>The 
Denver Post
Posted: 07/23/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT

Ward Churchill continues fighting to get his job back in a new legal 
motion that says a Denver District Court judge erred when he ruled 
against reinstating the fired University of Colorado professor.

A juror who sat through Churchill's civil case against the university 
submitted an affidavit to Chief Judge Larry Naves on Tuesday that 
said the jury wanted him to reinstate Churchill.

"A majority of the jurors thought that the academic misconduct 
charges were not valid," wrote juror Bethany Newill. "We felt that 
the procedures afforded to Churchill by the University of Colorado, 
before his termination, were biased."

Churchill was fired from the university's ethnic studies department 
in 2007 for academic misconduct. His termination came two years after 
a speech he wrote came to light that likened some victims of the 
Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to World War II Nazi official Adolf 

The speech prompted political outrage across the country. CU 
investigated whether his speech was protected under the First 
Amendment and found that it was.

But while the national spotlight was on Churchill, academics came 
forward and accused him of plagiarism and fraud in scholarly 
writings, which led to his termination.

Churchill sued the university and was awarded $1 in damages in April 
by jurors who determined that he was fired in retaliation for his speech.

Under the law, jurors could not decide the issue of reinstatement. 
That was left for Naves, who presided over the trial.

On July 7, Naves decided not to give Churchill his job back and set 
aside the jury's verdict. He also wrote in his opinion that CU's 
Board of Regents acted as a "quasi- judicial" panel that has immunity 
from the lawsuit.

Churchill's attorneys disagree with his reasoning.

"Essentially, this court has ruled that regardless of how egregious 
any Constitutional violations are by the Regents of the University of 
Colorado, as long as they provide a sham, kangaroo court for 
individuals targeted for termination and/or prosecution because of 
their political beliefs, the courts of the state of Colorado will 
never interfere with any such wholesale violations of the 
Constitution," the motion says.

Felisa Cardona: 303-954-1219 or 
<mailto:fcardona at denverpost.com>fcardona at denverpost.com

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