July 26, 2007

Churchill sues to stay

Ward Churchill Sues CU

Fired professor claims he's the victim of a witch huntThe Ward Churchill saga continued Wednesday as the now-former University of Colorado-Boulder ethnic studies professor filed a lawsuit against the university, claiming it violated his constitutional rights.

Churchill claims the university's investigation of his writings, and their decision to fire him all stems from his controversial essay about the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks in which he compared some victims to holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann, calling workers in the World Trade Center "little Eichmanns."

The lawsuit claims the university violated Churchill's right to free speech.

CU President Hank Brown says the decision to fire Churchill was based on allegation of fraud and plagiarism in his research and writing.

First Amendment lawyer Dan Recht says Churchill will have to prove his firing was a result of his writings, and if he can do that, he may win. The university, he says, will make its case that the firing was about Churchill's research.

A First Amendment watchdog group says professors win almost ninety percent of their free speech cases, but the rate is much lower in cases of academic fraud.

Recht also notes that nowhere in Churchill's law suit does he specifically refute the allegations of plagiarism and fraud.

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