Reading This Case Will Make Your Day | National Review

Reading This Case Will Make Your Day | National Review

Every now and then, the decision in a court case is so delectable that it makes your whole day. Ever since reading about the judge’s preliminary ruling in a Texas case involving freedom of speech, I’ve been feeling almost giddy.

The case is Hiers v. Board of Regents. It involves the University of North Texas. Math professor Nathaniel Hiers was fired by his exceedingly woke, brazenly intolerant departmental chairman because he poked fun at flyers babbling about “microaggressions.” The chairman went all Captain Queeg on Hiers for not agreeing with the notion that microaggression is a serious problem on campuses. Hiers didn’t grovel, so he was terminated.

He sued the university. Back when the case was filed, I wondered whether UNT would fight, since the precedents are so clear that public universities violate the First Amendment when they punish faculty members for speaking. Oh, but of course the university fought back — it’s taxpayer money, after all, that it’s spending on the case.

The judge has issued his ruling on the preliminary motions and it was a crushing defeat for the defense. Not only will the case proceed, but the individual defendants won’t be able to hide behind the shield of “qualified immunity.”

Read all about this absurd (but so revealing) case in this essay by Louis Bonham.

Will the defendants now settle with Hiers to minimize the hit they’re apt to take if the case proceeds further?

In any event, the case has done something wonderful in blasting a big, much-deserved hole in “qualified immunity.” Administrators at public universities should know the law on free speech and pay personally if they disregard it.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.