The DesMoines Register reports that Teresa Wagner, a conservative, former anti-abortion activist alleges that she was passed over for a job at the University of Iowa’s College of Law because of discrimination from the faculty members and former dean of the law school.
A lower court threw the case out, saying a dean can hire anyone she wishes, but a federal appeals court has now re-instated the case. Steve Fieweger, Wagner’s attorney, said in a statement, “She looks forward to having a jury decide whether her conservative politics prevented her from being employed as a full-time instructor at one of the most liberal law schools in this country.”
The DesMoines Register went on to say, “Wagner said that during the interview process for the U of I job, she mentioned to then-Associate Dean John Carlson that she had gone through a similar interview process at Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Fla., where she had been offered a tenure-track law school teaching position.
Wagner said that Carlson told her to conceal this fact during the interview process, because Ave Maria is viewed as a conservative school, according to court documents.” The article revealed that the “primary vocal opponent to hiring her”, according to the court documents, was Professor Randal Bezanson, who was “a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun during the time that the Roe Vs. Wade decision was written.” Roe vs. Wade was the 1973 case that legalized abortion.
Wagner opposed abortion and had worked with the National Right to Life Committee and for the Family Research Council, which advocates for conservative social views.
Wagner applied four more times for teaching positions after the initial rejection from the school, and was rejected each time.
Representatives of the university cannot discuss any matter involving pending litigation. The court ruled that the lawsuit should proceed in a district court.