Monday, September 22, 2014

Texas University Faces Trial for Ousting Employee Who Defied Congressman

The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 22nd, 2014

A federal appeals court has cleared the way for a former art-galleries director at Stephen F. Austin State University to try to paint several administrators there as having trampled his First Amendment rights in order to appease a U.S. congressman he had defied and harshly criticized.
In a ruling handed down last week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected the administrators’ bid to have the former galleries director’s lawsuit dismissed, saying the administrators should have known they risked violating his free-speech rights in pushing him out of his job after his clash with Rep. Louis B. (Louie) Gohmert Jr., a Republican.
The university falls within Representative Gohmert’s Congressional district, in northeastern Texas. The former galleries director, Christian Cutler, ran afoul of Mr. Gohmert in September 2010 after the congressman’s office sought Mr. Cutler's involvement in staging a high-school art contest.

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