Daily Dispatches
Teresa Wagner
Photo Courtesy of University of Iowa
Teresa Wagner

Conservative law prof loses fight for new trial

Religious Liberty

Conservative scholar, Teresa Wagner, who sued a University of Iowa law school dean on claims she was denied promotions because of her political views, will not get a retrial.

Wagner, 48, had requested another trial after a federal jury in October found the university did not discriminate against her. The judge declared a mistrial on a second count contending the school infringed on Wagner’s equal protection rights and threw out a third count, charging that Wagner’s due process rights had been violated, before trial.

Wagner wanted a second hearing on all counts.

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The judge accepted the verdict without allowing attorneys to be present, her lawyers asserted, and that, they said, took away their right to poll the jury, a method used to determine whether jurors felt overly pressured to reach a verdict after extensive deliberations.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt rejected Wagner’s arguments and denied her another trial, The Des Moines Register reported. He also granted the law school’s request to dismiss claims the school violated Wagner’s equal protection rights.

After the trial, members of the jury admitted they believed the law school had denied Wagner a promotion because of her conservative political beliefs, but did not rule in her favor because they were torn on whether the school’s former dean—whom Wagner named in the lawsuit—could be held responsible.

Wagner, who was a part-time employee of the law school’s writing center, had appeared on track to get a full-time teaching position in 2007. But the school hired a less-qualified candidate who had to leave within a year for poor performance. Afterwards, administrators decided not to fill the open job, and then refused to consider Wagner for comparable jobs that opened later.

According to Wagner, the 50-member faculty—which included 46 Democrats—prevented her from getting the job because they knew she was a Republican who had worked for two pro-life groups, the National Right to Life Committee and the Family Research Council.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Whitney Williams
Whitney Williams

Whitney happily serves WORLD as web editorial assistant. When she's not working from her home office in Texas, she's probably fishing or hunting with her husband.

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