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Judge declares mistrial in hiring discrimination claim

By Megan Malloy

25 October 2012 at 12:17 BST

The judge presiding over a bias discrimination case called a mistrial after a jury failed to reach a decision on Wednesday over whether the plaintiff's 14th Amendment rights were violated.

University of Iowa: liberal bias?

However, the jury found that Teresa Wagner did not have her 1st Amendment rights violated despite her claims that she was continually passed over for a full-time teaching position because of her politically conservative views, reports the Washington Times.
Wagner cited the University of Iowa law school’s 50-member faculty, of which 46 are registered Democrats. As previously reported by the Global Legal Post, Wagner worked formerly at the National Right to Life Committee and the Family Research Council and is a strong opponent of legalized abortion. She argued that opposition to her promotion was led by Professor Randall Bezandon who helped draft the seminal abortion rights Roe vs. Wade decision as a law clerk.

Questionable practices

Professors on the hiring panel argued that she was unsuccessful in her bid for a full-time position because she performed poorly in an interview back in January 2007, claiming that she failed to answer questions about teaching legal analysis, a concept central to the position. The case exposed a number of questionable and undocumented hiring practices that are commonplace in higher education, while also raising a number of concerns about the courts’ interference in hiring decisions that some argue should be confined to the university. 


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