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ACLJ: Jury Rules North Carolina University Violated Free Speech Rights of Conservative Professor

(Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law, said today’s decision by a jury in a federal trial in Greenville, North Carolina determining that the University of North Carolina-Wilmington violated the First Amendment rights of conservative criminology professor Mike Adams when it denied his promotion application to full professor represents “an important victory for academic freedom and the First Amendment.”

Dr. Adams first filed suit in 2007, and his case went to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals where he won a significant victory for academic freedom before it was remanded for further proceedings in the trial court. The trial began Monday and concluded today, with the jury finding for Dr. Adams. The trial court will determine Dr. Adams’ relief at a later date.

“We’re grateful the jury determined what we have long known to be true – that the university violated Dr. Adams’ constitutional rights when it denied his promotion,” said David French, ACLJ Senior Counsel. “This is an important victory for academic freedom and the First Amendment.”

During the trial, Dr. Adams presented evidence that university officials improperly considered his First Amendment-protected speech in the course of their promotion decision, disregarded the university's own promotion standards and guidelines, and forwarded false and misleading information about Dr. Adams' academic accomplishments as part of an effort to block his promotion to full professor.

The ACLJ represented Dr. Adams in the case, along with Travis Barham, from the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Led by ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

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