Judge Declares Mistrial in University of Iowa Liberal Bias Case


A judge has declared mistrial in the case of conservative scholar Teresa Wagner, who claimed that she was passed over for a job at University of Iowa Law School for her liberal views.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Shields announced Wednesday mistrial on Wagner's claim that she was not given equal protection as described in the 14th Amendment rights, after the jurors informed that they were deadlocked, reported The Associated Press.

However, the jury found that Wagner didn't have her first Amendment rights violated.

The move could mean that the case will be either retired or resolved through some sort of settlement.

During the trial, Wagner testified in the court saying that the faculty from the Iowa Law School did not hire her because of her political views.

Instead, the job was given to another candidate who had to resign after a year due to poor performance.

She said Professor Randall Bezanson was behind the opposition to her appointment. Bezanson worked as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. He is known to help in drafting a decision that legalized abortion, while Wagner had worked for social conservative groups that did not support abortion rights.

But the claims were denied by the professors when they testified in the court. They said that they were aware of Wagner's political views, but the job was passed over to another candidate to teach and write legal analysis, because she failed a job interview in January 2007.

Wagner, who is working as a part-time associate director of the law school's writing center, had, in her lawsuit filed in 2009, accused former Iowa law school's dean Carolyn Jones when the school rejected her applications.

She mentioned that Jones discriminated her for her links with conservative groups, violating her first Amendment rights. Wagner, who had unsuccessfully applied for adjunct positions at least five times from early 2007 to 2009, argued that the faculty was not interested to hire an outspoken activist who was against abortion rights.

Her lawyer, Stephen T. Fieweger, had demanded $400,000 in damages, including lost pay and benefits, for the pain and suffering, caused to her, the AP report said.

The weeklong trial raised questions about faculty and their hiring practices. Wednesday's actions followed after three days of deliberation among the jurors.

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