The Daily Camera (Boulder) reports:
The ruling from Chief Denver District Judge Larry Naves, which was released this afternoon, appears to comes in stunning contrast to a jury’s verdict from a civil trial Churchill brought against the school earlier this year.
At the conclusion of the 3 1/2-week-long trial, six jurors determined that CU had unlawfully stripped Churchill of his job for expressing his political beliefs in a controversial essay he wrote about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
In his ruling, however, Naves stated that it was because of the jury’s verdict — specifically its decision to award Churchill a nominal $1 in damages — that he denied Churchill’s request to regain his job.
“If I am required to enter an order that is ‘consistent with the jury’s findings,’ I cannot order a remedy that ‘disregard the jury’s implicit finding’ that Professor Churchill has suffered no actual damages that an award of reinstatement would prospectively remedy,” Naves wrote.
The judge said putting Churchill back on campus is not appropriate because the relationship between the plaintiff and the school is “irreparably damaged” and his presence there will make it harder for CU to impose its standards of scholarly excellence in the future….
Naves also wrote that he decided against awarding Churchill any “front pay” because the former professor had not “seriously pursued” any efforts to gain comparable employment since his dismissal and had even declined to pursue a couple of job offers.
I’m not sure whether this is a legally sound result, especially as to reinstatement — I’d love to hear from experts on the law of remedies, especially in public employment cases — but I thought I’d pass it along.
Thanks to Pirate Ballerina for the pointer.