2015 Victories: Conservative Professor Reinstated After being Unlawfully Fired for Exposing Fraud



December 11, 2015

2 min read

Free Speech



This is the latest installment in a year-end series looking back at a few of the many victories by the ACLJ in 2015.

In a significant federal court victory, we won a major case on behalf of a conservative professor who had been fired for exposing fraud.

After more than 34 years as a researcher and academic at UCLA, Dr. James Enstrom was unlawfully terminated after challenging junk science and unnecessary diesel regulations approved by a California government agency.  He also publicly exposed the fraudulent credentials of a lead author on the government report and the unlawful tenure of members of the agency’s Scientific Review Panel, which included one of his UCLA colleagues.  After his explosive findings became public, Enstrom’s long-time appointment as a UCLA researcher was wrongfully terminated.

After Enstrom’s abrupt and unlawful termination, the ACLJ quickly took action and filed suit on his behalf.  Upon reviewing the details of this case, it became abundantly clear that Enstrom was unlawfully terminated simply because he exposed the truth about an activist scientific agenda – an agenda designed to impose expensive regulations on California businesses.  UCLA's decision to fire Enstrom was so extreme that its own Academic Freedom Committee unanimously expressed its concern about the case.

In March 2015, after two and a half years of legal battles, the ACLJ obtained an important victory for Enstrom in the federal lawsuit against UCLA officials.  The case ended with finalization of a settlement in which the UC Regents agreed to restore Enstrom’s title as “Retired Researcher” and award him $140,000 in damages.  This resounding victory was an important one, not just for Enstrom, but also for the ongoing protection of academic freedom in America.

To help the ACLJ continue to have the resources we need to make these victories possible and continue these fights, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the ACLJ through our year-end Matching Challenge.  Your gift will be doubled dollar-for-dollar through the end of the year.

You will be able to read more in the ACLJ’s 2015 Victories series here.