December 1, 2017

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, FREE SPEECH EDITION: FIRE files amicus brief with Wisconsin Supreme Court in McAdams v. Marquette.

FIRE has filed an amicus brief with the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the case of John McAdams, the tenured Marquette University professor who was fired after criticizing a graduate student instructor’s pedagogical techniques on his personal blog. FIRE filed the brief this afternoon, along with a request that the court consider it as it decides whether to hear McAdams’ case.

McAdams said in May that he would appeal the decision of a Milwaukee circuit court judge who ruled that, despite Marquette’s contractual promises of free speech and academic freedom, Marquette was within its rights when it effectively fired McAdams back in 2014 by suspending him indefinitely without pay.

McAdams’ attorneys at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty appealed the ruling in September. But earlier this month, they took the additional, rare step of asking the Supreme Court of Wisconsin to hear McAdams’ case on bypass, meaning that the Supreme Court would hear the case directly before waiting for the appeals court to rule on the case first.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court can elect to hear such cases when, among other considerations, it believes the matter is one it would ultimately decide to hear, regardless of the outcome at the appellate level, in order to develop the law at issue in the case.

FIRE’s brief supports McAdams’ position that his appeal warrants this unusual and important step.

FIRE does excellent work. If you’re looking for a place to make a year-end donation, keep them in mind.

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