Court rules university violated conservative professor's First Amendment rights

Kaitlyn Schallhorn
Reporter

Total Shares
This is the CRO SBAR

  • Mike Adams, a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, was hired in 1993 when he was a self-described atheist.
  • After converting to Christianity in 2000, Adams became an outspoken conservative.
  • The university denied Adams a promotion in 2006.
  • A jury has concluded that the University of North Carolina-Wilmington retaliated against one of its professors for his outspoken conservative views.

    The battle for his First Amendment rights is finally over for Mike Adams, a criminology professor who asserted the university denied him a promotion to full professor in 2006 because of his conversion to Christianity and subsequent vocal conservatism.

    “To be able to speak freely without retaliation is a principle that should be a reality on campus and the jurors reassured that.”   

    Today, a jury in a U.S. District Court in Greenville, N.C., agreed.

    “We are just grateful that the jury saw what we’ve long known what was the case, that Dr. Adams was an incredible scholar,” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Travis Barham, who represents Adams, told Campus Reform.

    “This is an incredibly important victory for the First Amendment,” Barham said. “To be able to speak freely without retaliation is a principle that should be a reality on campus and the jurors reassured that.”

    The university hired Adams in 1993; at the time, he was a self-described atheist. After his conversion to Christianity in 2000, Adams adjusted his political and social views and spoke publicly on conservatism, including through his column at Townhall.com. From then on, Adams was subjected to “intrusive investigations” and “baseless accusations” according to an ADF press release.

    “They retaliated against me for exercising my First Amendment rights in my column and other outlets,” Adams told Campus Reform after the trial. “I’m unbelievably thrilled [at the verdict].”

    The case was originally filed in April 2007 and the trial was granted by a federal court last year.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @katie0509

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Reporter

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, Kaitlyn was a reporter at Red Alert Politics and covered business and restaurants for the Alexandria Times.  

    More By Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    LATEST TWEETS

    Nancy Murdoch
    @Nancyccta - 25 min ago

    "As a student at Mount Holyoke I applied for a http://t.co/poY1lRKugI" target="blank_">http://t.co/poY1lRKugI via @campusreform http://t.co/poY1lRKugI

    Jared Cagle
    @thejaredcagle - 56 min ago

    @kateobenshain @campusreform cant offend the Muslims!! Too peaceful. What did they ever do to us or Israel. Im so sick of this

    Kate Obenshain
    @kateobenshain - 1 hour ago

    Hypocrisy at OU:Israel haters can speak, not othrs http://t.co/RwHMY6GYof" target="blank_">http://t.co/RwHMY6GYof @campusreform http://t.co/RwHMY6GYof

    Lizz Paulson
    @Team66B - 5 hours ago

    “I’d be appalled if they did this to the literature of a Democrat candidate.” http://t.co/ecJhSdTCox via @campusreform. Better behavior due.

    Larry Cox
    @papasbuddy2 - 10 hours ago

    @kateobenshain @campusreform Ms Obenshain do you think they'd remove the Koran too? Somehow I don't think they'd be as bold and assertive

    Bossy Aphotic Solace
    @AphoticSolace - 11 hours ago

    Uhmazeng “@campusreform VIDEO: Students sign petition urging Obama to support #ISIS http://t.co/jbL0Cg67nW by @MaggieLitCRO

    Kate Obenshain
    @kateobenshain - 11 hours ago

    Penn State removes Bibles from hotel rooms http://t.co/wu5vFDPARJ" target="blank_">http://t.co/wu5vFDPARJ via @campusreform http://t.co/wu5vFDPARJ

    Duane Wilmer
    @duanespd - 12 hours ago

    If you want to find the most mentally ill people follow @campusreform .

    Gary Beals
    @FanaticBlue - 12 hours ago

    @campusreform So that's the Critical Thinking coming out of Higher Education (ours is higher here :) Looks like that $100K is $$$ well spent

    Latest 30 Articles