Pro-life professor’s discrimination lawsuit dismissed

One faculty member was former Supreme Court clerk Randall Bezanson, a university professor who helped draft the Roe v. Wade decision.
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Dustin Siggins By Dustin Siggins

Dustin Siggins By Dustin Siggins

IOWA CITY, IA, July 8, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life legal professor Teresa Manning's legal battle ended this week, when a jury determined that Manning was not discriminated against in her job because of her conservative public policy positions.

But Manning is not ending what she says is a battle for academic freedom in higher education. "I find the verdict incomprehensible given the evidence we presented. I don’t know what else to say,” said Manning, according to The Associated Press.

The professor, who had worked with the National Right to Life and Family Research Council, sued her boss at the University of Iowa Law School for alleged discrimination after she was not hired for a position in 2007. Manning, who was then the associate director of the university law school's writing center and a finalist for the position, was passed over for another finalist who The Washington Post reports was "a self-described liberal."

A second open position was not filled.

Shortly afterward, an associate dean warned then-Dean Carolyn Jones in an email that he was concerned that Manning was not recommended by faculty, "because they so despise her politics (and especially her activism about it).”

However, other professors say that Manning said she would not teach analysis, which was a critical requirement of the position for which she was a finalist. Instead, Manning was planning to focus on writing, say those faculty members -- a claim Manning says is simply false.

It was one professor in particular that Manning says stopped her from being hired eight years ago. One faculty member was former Supreme Court clerk Randall Bezanson, a university professor who helped draft the Roe v. Wade decision 34 years before Manning gave her talk.

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In 2012, a judge declared a mistrial in Manning's case. Before the mistrial – which was retracted, and Manning's case moved forward – it was found that Manning had faced discrimination from her fellow faculty members, not Jones, and thus her lawsuit was aimed at the wrong party.

In 2007, 46 out of 50 faculty members at the university law school were registered Democrats. Manning had sought lost wages and damages in her lawsuit.

Manning is going to be at Virginia Tech in the fall, and is writing a book on her experiences.

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