Facebook   Twitter   Instagram
Current Issue   Archive   Donate and Support    

Churchill turns to U.S. Supreme Court to get his CU job back.


Ward Churchill is nothing if not tenacious.

The former CU professor, who was fired by the Board of Regents over accusations of plagiarism, fabricating evidence and violating academic standards lost his latest appeal to be reinstated to his job when the Colorado Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s opinion that the regents had the authority to remove him.

Now, he will appeal his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to his lawyer, David Lane, who is quoted in the Denver Post as saying that his client’s First Amendment rights were violated.

That claim stems from Churchill’s contention that his firing was motivated by a controversial essay he wrote after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, in which he compared some of the victims to Nazi Holocaust architect Adolph Eichmann.

Lane has argued that the regents superseded their authority by firing Churchill, but so far, every court that heard the case has concluded that regents have “quasi-judicial immunity” from lawsuits, even though they are elected officials.

The Supreme Court decision acknowledged that regents’ status is a bit muddled.

“We conclude that the federal case law in this area is too unsettled to defeat the regents’ claim of qualified immunity,” according to the decision quoted in the Post.

Churchill won a civil lawsuit against the university in 2009, with the jury concluding that he was unlawfully fired. He was awarded $1 in damages.


Leave a Reply