Law school refuses to hire professor who embraces politics the rest of the faculty “despises”

posted at 8:11 pm on April 6, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Bet you can guess whether she was liberal or conservative. At the same time that schools pursue diversity for diversity’s sake without ever clearly explaining why diversity is important, they often fail to consider a different kind of diversity: What about diversity of thought? (And, yes, I was trying to see how many times I could use the word “diversity” in a sentence!) Sometimes, the details of a discrimination case are murky, but, in this case, they’re pretty clear:

[Teresa] Wagner, who graduated with honors from the law school [the University of Iowa College of Law] in 1993, has taught at the George Mason University School of Law. She has also worked for the National Right to Life Committee, which opposes abortion, and the conservative Family Research Council.

In 2006, Wagner applied for a full-time instructor position with the law school and was denied. She was also rejected for an adjunct or full-time position in four subsequent attempts, according to her attorney, Stephen T. Fieweger.

Fieweger said Wagner’s candidacy was dismissed because of her conservative views, and he cited a 2007 email from Associate Dean Jonathan C. Carlson to Jones in which Carlson wrote: “Frankly, one thing that worries me is that some people may be opposed to Teresa serving in any role, in part at least because they so despise her politics (and especially her activism about it).”

Fieweger said the law school and academic institutions in general have been so “entrenched” in discriminating against conservative-minded faculty over the years that “they don’t recognize they’re doing it.”

Ms. Wagner isn’t taking it lying down, though: She sued the school. A lower court initially dismissed the suit, arguing the dean could hire whomever he wished — but the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reinstated it. A trial is set for Oct. 15.

While I sympathize with Wagner’s plight and respect her decision to sue the school (especially because the school purports to be committed to fair hiring practices), I’m more generally against the forced imposition of diversity than I am in favor of her lawsuit. Freedom of association, anyone?

At the same time, I’m mindful of the way we hole up in our echo chambers. Our unwillingness to experience the friction that occurs when our ideas directly clash with another person’s is counterproductive. I’m talking about real friction and a real clash — the kind that occurs when you look another person in the eye, with no mediating computer screen or TV camera or other medium, and flat-out disagree. It’s uncomfortable — and it’s almost always cause for introspection. That introspection is often fruitful, as it forces us to either reaffirm our views for ourselves or to tweak them as the new information provided by “the other” requires.

A new study shows that Democrats and Republicans are actually unable to feel each other’s pain. As in, if you know someone is thirsting and you also know they have different political views than you do, you’ll feel their thirst less. To me, that’s shabby. We do have humanity in common, at least, and it’s worth it to pause and remember a few common truths and to try to build on those truths in our daily lives: In the grand scheme of things, we’re all small but none of us is unimportant, we all long to love and be loved, we all crave truth but are also often afraid of its implications …

Somewhere along the line, we’ve confused a commitment to “tolerance and diversity” with relativism. But we can simultaneously consciously seek to challenge our own views and, in the end, hold fast to our principles. It is possible. Not all opinions are equally true and two mutually exclusive propositions can never both be true. If we’re really seeking the truth, what does it hurt to give court to others’ perspectives? Maybe we’ll find we’re wrong … but maybe we’ll find we’re right.


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This is stupid. Even a left-wing nutjob should be able to see this forest through the trees.

If the law school wins the right to bar employment based on politics, they’re going to end up providing the perfect excuse for bigots of all kinds to do bigoted things.

Most minorities and gays in the US vote Democrat. Most white racists and vehemently anti-gay people vote Republican.

“Don’t worry Bob, it’s not your race or that you asked about same-sex partner benefits, it’s that I saw you Liked a liberal cause facebook page. We don’t take kindly to that sort of thing around here, so I’m hiring Bill instead.”

Quantus on April 7, 2012 at 12:42 AM

While I sympathize with Wagner’s plight and respect her decision to sue the school (especially because the school purports to be committed to fair hiring practices), I’m more generally against the forced imposition of diversity than I am in favor of her lawsuit. Freedom of association, anyone?

The argument is that Teresa Wagner shouldn’t sue because of a principle of free association.

But the principle of free association isn’t really in force in America. The state forces people to associate whenever it thinks a good purpose is served. “Free association” is just association that the state doesn’t regulate yet.

“Free association” in this case would mean nothing other than a special right for liberals to punish and exclude conservatives.

David Blue on April 7, 2012 at 1:19 AM

A new study shows that Democrats and Republicans are actually unable to feel each other’s pain. As in, if you know someone is thirsting and you also know they have different political views than you do, you’ll feel their thirst less. To me, that’s shabby. We do have humanity in common, at least

Long story short: Liberals won’t feel conservatives’ thirst because they they have a moral objection, and therefore righteous hatred, toward any person who has a divergent ideology.

Conservatives won’t feel liberals’ thirst because we understand that almost 100% of the time, their thirst is of their own making.

mintycrys on April 7, 2012 at 2:05 AM

Conservatives won’t feel liberals’ thirst because we understand that almost 100% of the time, their thirst is of their own making.

mintycrys on April 7, 2012 at 2:05 AM

Give them half your water and they’ll wash their hands and say, “where’s the rest? I’m thirsty.”

David Blue on April 7, 2012 at 2:21 AM

I expect our DOJ to get right on this one to support Ms. Wagner in her suit. Perfect example of the Left’s War on Conservatives and their own War on Women.

HoosierStateofMind on April 7, 2012 at 3:15 AM

I thought I read another article on this story stating that there is one registered Republican tenured faculty member.

Is it any wonder that the Obama administration had no idea Obamacare was arguably unconstitutional? Have law schools and Universities been so “dumbed down” by decades of increasingly exclusive Democratic ideology that they no longer comprehend that other viewpoints exist? Is this why the quasi-religion of AGM has taken such a stronghold?

Perhaps this lawsuit will awaken some vestigial recollection of the value of the intellectual experience of exchange of ideas such that an occasional conservative will get a faculty position even if she does not win her case.

talkingpoints on April 7, 2012 at 4:18 AM

Freedom of association? If it were a private school, yes. This is a state school. Ms. Wagner should have as much an opporunity to work there as any other qualified candidate.

Chuckles3 on April 7, 2012 at 6:54 AM

Until we accept that liberals are simply tyrants waiting for their opportunity to consolidate power. With one of their own now in the presidency they are making their move. It is amazing to me that intelligent people stand back and scratch their heads wondering why the country is divided. Modern liberalism has attacked everything traditional in western civilization over the past 50 years and now that we see pushback they wonder why we have conflict. Well, we have conflict and division because victims finally get tired of getting beat over the head time and again. We tire of not being left alone. We tire of the liberal assault on every part of our lives.

Division? You bet. Because liberals are bent on controlling every part of our lives. It’s likely too late, but unless we begin to fight liberals will destroy us all.

artman1746 on April 7, 2012 at 6:59 AM

Maybe we’ll find we’re wrong … but maybe we’ll find we’re right.

yeah, but it makes those tense moments at the Christmas party harder to stomach./

ted c on April 7, 2012 at 7:00 AM

When did “freedom of association” apply to publically funded institutions?

Isn’t the Law School involved part of a taxpayer funded school system? If the liberals are entitled to keep out qualified applicants to a taxpayer funded school why is everyone pitching such a hissyfit about Augusta- a PRIVATE prganization excluding women?

katiejane on April 7, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Most white racists and vehemently anti-gay people vote Republican.

Quantus on April 7, 2012 at 12:42 AM

Your point is well taken, but your premise, in the above quotes, is patently false and indicates you might be FoS. In the history of this country, the white republicans have not been the racist ones. How do you libs say repubs are racist when almost every racial atrocity in the history of this country has been committed by (yes white) democrats? How many repubs lynched blacks? How many repubs stood in statehouse and highschool doors to keep blacks from entering? How many republican sheriffs sicced dogs and beat protesters.

Why you lie that white repubs are racist is that they insist that blacks stand on their own two feet, get educated, and be good citizens. They become CRUEL racists when they try to get the blacks off the modern slave plantations of the liberal/marxist dhimpcrapts.

Old Country Boy on April 7, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Opposite of diversity….university.

Caper29 on April 7, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Publicly funded on several levels, including virtually every student getting tens of thousands of dollars in federal loan money from a tax-paying electorate in which the liberals comprise about a third of the population.

Since we want diversity in education and the law school is claiming the right to discriminate based on political views, would it not be within our rights as taxpayers to demand that applications for student loans include political affiliation, and awards of such be properly proportioned?

And isn’t an investigation of scholarship and other awards to students in order, on the off chance that the liberal faculty and administration is similarly discriminating based on political affiliation?

drwilliams on April 7, 2012 at 9:36 AM

“While I sympathize with Wagner’s plight and respect her decision to sue the school (especially because the school purports to be committed to fair hiring practices), I’m more generally against the forced imposition of diversity than I am in favor of her lawsuit. Freedom of association, anyone?”

Uuuuuuugh. I’m soooooo d**n sick of this kind of mindset. Why do we continue to play by a set of rules, willingly, while these punks get to do whatever they want?? I’m sick of it. At what point do we fight fire with fire? All taking the high road has done was got us a race-obsessed, socialist president that thinks this country is a blight on humanity! Quit with this crap already! If she wants to sue them and beat her way into this institution, then GOOD FOR HER! I hope she wins. And I hope more people move to take down the “institutional left.” Breitbart people, Breitbart. Quit being chumps.

And please remember folks, noble losers don’t write history. Ruthless winners do. T

moonbat monitor on April 7, 2012 at 9:40 AM

How do you libs say repubs are racist when almost every racial atrocity in the history of this country has been committed by (yes white) democrats?

Old Country Boy on April 7, 2012 at 9:22 AM

While I agree with you that Quantus seems to be trying to imply that being a Republican means you will be a racist, the proposition that a “white racist” votes Republican is not at all the same as the proposition that a Republican is a “white racist”. By way of illustration: A phony law professor may be the POTUS, but not every POTUS is a phony law professor.

Democrats always seem to try to overlook the fact that the Democratic party is historically the party of racism. As I have found out through long experience, look to those who are making the most vocal accusations for the worst examples of what they accuse others.

mr.blacksheep on April 7, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Sorry, but once civil rights laws were passed, freedom of association went out the window. If you want to be a bigot now, you have to do it in the privacy of your own home…until that refuge from state control is also stripped from us.

PD Quig on April 7, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Schools have been doing this for years and over the years we have seen schools after high school as businesses. Phd’s most publish or parish if their needs demand notoriety and that’s the reason our history is rewritten just a little so they’ll have their name in a book. Over the years those old books have been totally changed as well as some definitions in the dictionary. There are books written to bring all this to light. It is possible today to get a very good education without that parchment that states you graduated from such and such. Ask yourself that question, an education or a certificate? Many places of employment have a probationary period and why do you think they have that?

mixplix on April 7, 2012 at 10:43 AM

I believe more lawsuits should be tried against all universities, especially public ones. They’ve been doing this for so long, they wouldn’t recognize a conservative thought if it hit them in the head. All you have to do is look at the Lawyers, Journalists, and teachers these places are turning out to understand the best job they’ve done wasn’t in teaching them but in indoctrinating them.

bflat879 on April 7, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Most racist minorities… in the US vote Democrat.

Quantus on April 7, 2012 at 12:42 AM

-
You missed a group or two… I inserted one for your further education.
-

RalphyBoy on April 7, 2012 at 11:10 AM

“Force your opponent to play by his own rule book.”

-Alinsky

Odysseus on April 7, 2012 at 11:18 AM

It’s illegal to make employment decisions based on Political Affiliation. The question is was it her “views” or her “party”:

http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html

FYI: There is an exception, for Communists, those you can discriminate against! Love it!

hayekorbust on April 7, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Long story short: Liberals won’t feel conservatives’ thirst because they they have a moral objection, and therefore righteous hatred, toward any person who has a divergent ideology.

Conservatives won’t feel liberals’ thirst because we understand that almost 100% of the time, their thirst is of their own making.

mintycrys on April 7, 2012 at 2:05 AM

Boy this is good.

And I’m for making them play by their own rulebook.

Alana on April 7, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Most minorities and gays in the US vote Democrat. Most white racists and vehemently anti-gay people vote Republican.

Quantus on April 7, 2012 at 12:42 AM

Others, including Black, exhibit more hatred than Whites, as the Zimmerman affair shows. Most Black race-haters vote Democrat.

Blacks are also more anti-gay than Whites. Not that I’m saying it’s obligatory to be pro-gay. That’s just how it is.

The hatred is coming from the left, constantly. They don’t even want to let conservatives have a job, which is where this thread started.

Given those realities, slamming “white racists” is just being anti-White.

David Blue on April 7, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Typical libturd judgmentalism at work here. They’re supposed to be the altruistic, nurturing, warm-hearted and compassionate ones, the ones who care about people and human beings–and yet … in their eyes her political beliefs trump everything, especially her humanness. She’s vilified and objectivized due to her beliefs, and oh, isn’t that the way genocidal dictators view their people?

BTW, the quote in this post doesn’t clarify who the “Jones” recipient of the email from Carlson is. Turns out it’s the former dean of the law school, a she, Carolyn Jones, so I guess we’re also talking about lib-female-on-cons-female discrimination. Whose war on women?

stukinIL4now on April 7, 2012 at 2:53 PM

A new study shows that Democrats and Republicans are actually unable to feel each other’s pain.

Sorry, Tina, but that’s a gross overstatement of that study. It really said that a sizable portion of people on both sides of the political fault line are less likely to empathize with people on the other side.

It’s a statistical thing, not an inability. I believe that I’m the type of conservative that could give Frank Marshall Davis or Bill Ayers a cold glass of water were they thirsty. My Lord demands nothing less.

Now, as the number of godless conservatives increase, I expect empathy to decrease on the conservative side as well. As people are not able to subordinate their flesh talking from their spirit. My flesh talks to me the same way as the conservatives who find liberal’s pain unreal, it just takes the discipline to ignore the line noise. Of course, it has often been the choice of many to wallow in whatever are the preferences of the flesh.

What I see in that study is simply an indication that the children of God should not follow the ways of the flesh–that goes for politics as well. For as Paul points out “For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?”

In addition, flesh doesn’t merely refer to sex. And we’ve allowed dabblers in the faith, who cannot bear to deny their flesh in the form of sex to make that the casual meaning of “in the flesh”. (Which I guess is one of the reasons that I de-emphasize sexual prudery.)

It’s understandable that non-religious conservatives, seeing no other state but being “mere men”, are happy for that distinction. They can even grow to have a pride in their hatreds. But people of faith are called to do more.

Axeman on April 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM

IN SUMMARY: If there is to be a “Supreme Arbitrator of Acceptable Diversity,” I will accept the nomination: no other candidate is acceptable.

/liberal jackassery>

landlines on April 7, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Tina, I’m not usually one of those poking at your posts. But the “freedom of association” comment is unfit for you to use in this situation.

Freedom of association is a right, guaranteed by the Constitution, that we may gather with other like-minded citizens without fear of government prohibition. Its initial, though not entire, purpose was to ensure that church congregations of any denomination could hold services without being banned or interfered with. It in no way offers guidance to an employer on how they may choose to deny employment.

There is no correlation between the foundation of that idea, and the concept that an employer may choose to avoid hiring someone on the basis of their political ideology, most especially once there is concrete evidence that such is the primary reason for their decision to exclude.

Freelancer on April 9, 2012 at 4:22 AM

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