The attorney for Ward Churchill told the Colorado Supreme Court on Thursday that the University of Colorado conducted a sham investigation in order to retaliate against the former professor for his inflammatory 9/11 essay that compared some World Trade Center victims to a notorious Nazi.
Churchill, fired by the CU Board of Regents in 2006 for academic misconduct, won a civil lawsuit against the university. But while a Denver jury found that CU had unlawfully fired Churchill for exercising his right to free speech, it only awarded him $1 -- and the judge declined to give him his job back.
Now the fired professor is appealing the judge's ruling in an attempt to regain his teaching position on the Boulder campus.
"First and foremost is that if free speech cannot find a safe haven on a university campus, this society, in general, is in decline," attorney David Lane told the justices during a one-hour hearing on Churchill's appeal in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the state Capitol.