By David Forster, LAW WEEK COLORADO
The Colorado Supreme Court will rule Monday on the fate of a university professor who claims he was fired in retaliation for an essay he wrote about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Ward Churchill lost his job following a public outcry over the essay, in which he compared the victims of the attacks to a notorious Nazi.
The University of Colorado says it fired Churchill after an investigation revealed multiple instances of plagiarism in his writings.
Churchill sued the university, arguing that his dismissal was in retaliation for the essay and violated his free speech rights. A jury agreed, but his victory was overturned on appeal.
In arguments before the Supreme Court in June, Churchill’s attorney again pressed the First Amendment issue. The justices comments, however, suggested their decision may instead turn on whether the university’s board of regents is entitled to immunity under the 11th Amendment.