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Court of Appeals reverses district court's ruling in Wagner case

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 29, 2012 6:30 AM

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A U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a district court's ruling in a case involving the former dean of the University of Iowa's law school, and a status conference has been set to determine the trial date.

Teresa Wagner said former dean Carolyn Jones did not hire her when she applied during the 2006-07 academic year to be an instructor at the school because of her political beliefs, claiming discrimination in violation of her First Amendment rights.

After reviewing the issue on appeal — whether Jones was entitled to qualified for immunity on Wagner's First Amendment discrimination claim – the Court of Appeals found that Jones' action violated a Constitutional right of political belief and association and that the right was clearly established at the time of the violation.

Therefore, the dourt said, the district court erred in finding that Jones was protected from liability by qualified immunity in her individual capacity. The grant of summary judgment was reversed and remanded to the district court for further proceedings.

A status conference has been set for March 2, and Jones has requested to appear by telephone, according to court documents. 

— by Beth Bratsos


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