Filed under: North America
“What was asked for and what was delivered was justice.” – Ward Churchill
On April 2, 2009 the jury returned a verdict for Professor Ward Churchill in his case against the University of Colorado.
The jury found unanimously that Ward’s 9/11 essay was a significant factor in the Regents’ decision to fire him, and that he would not have been fired but for his exercise of his First Amendment rights.
In comments made to the lawyers and on KHOW radio, jurors stated that they concluded that Ward Churchill had NOT engaged in research misconduct, and that the University’s accusations against him were essentially trivial.
They also reported having spent several hours debating damages, as five jurors wanted to give a substantial award but one did not. Because Ward Churchill had made it clear that this case was not about money, they agreed on the nominal award of $1.
Reinstatement is the standard remedy in such cases. The judge will make that determination, as well as findings on attorneys fees in a later hearing.
As attorney David Lane observed, “there are few defining moments that give the First Amendment this kind of life.” CU’s attempt to minimize the significance of the findings by emphasizing the $1 award simply illustrates, once again, that money is the only thing valued by University officials.
We are grateful for all who worked together to make this victory possible, and for the courage of the jurors to take a principled stand.