In Iowa City, there was a major court case recently. On the surface, the University of Iowa may have been spared as Teresa Wagner did not win her case of proving discrimination by the University. A federal jury rejected Teresa Wagner’s First Amendment claim she was denied a faculty position because of her conservative views but were deadlocked over the Equal Protection claim that less qualified candidates were selected over her.
The Des Moines Register interviewed Jurors and found that while the jury was deadlocked, they did see a hiring bias but felt that the University, not the former Law School Dean, was responsible. The jury was conflicted about holding the Dean responsible but had no doubt that the university should have been held accountable but, federal law does not recognize political discrimination against institutions such as the University of Iowa. The Jury forewoman noted, “everyone in the jury room believed she had been discriminated against.” A motion has been filed by Teresa Wagner for a new trial.
In an editorial, the Des Moines Register editorial board wrote, “Regardless of the outcome, this case raises questions about the hiring policies at the University Of Iowa College Of Law, and perhaps in the university as a whole. The U of I respects the goal of diversity for race, religion and gender, but it should show the same respect for diversity of political thought. “What this case showed, the academic bankruptcy of an institution that can’t tolerate dissent to their world view and that while diversity is the buzzword, the reality is that diversity doesn’t mean a diversity of ideas.
In the legal world, it matters since many lawyers have been trained in a progressive worldview as far as the Constitution is concerned; that the Constitution is a living document that needs to be interpreted by the contingency of the times as opposed to its true meaning. In Iowa, a governor is limited to who he or she can select as judges as to a slate of nominees approved by the judicial nominating commission. This gives state lawyers a significant hand in appointing judges and it assures that any lawyer trained by the University of Iowa law school possibly brings a leftist worldview into the procedure and makes it more difficult for conservative judges be selected.
When the Iowa Supreme Court approved same sex marriage as being protected by the Iowa Constitution, this led to a war on the Court. In 2010, three judges up for retention were removed from office and in 2012, a fourth judge survived but received only 54% of the vote in a vote that normally is close to 99%. The argument for the retention of the judge was that social conservatives introduced “politics into the judicial process” but the reality is that politics are already part of the process. When a conservative scholar has to sue to ensure her equal protection and there is massive resistance to have one conservative as part of the Iowa law school faculty; that makes a lie that Iowa’s selection process is non-political. It simply means that partisanship is hidden from the public view.
The Teresa Wagner case continues but it does expose the Academic world espousing diversity is hypocrisy. As the key aspect of a university is exposing students to a variety of ideas, it is becoming non-existent and our modern academic world is less of a place to learn but a place to be indoctrinated.