The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to University of Colorado’s Board of Regents today, urging them not to fire professor Ward Churchill.Update: The Colorado ACLU publicly defended Ward early on, but I don't think the national organization has said anything up to now. Wonder if this means they're going to jump in and help David Lane with the case and Ward with the cost?
"I think that the protection of the First Amendment rights is vital in the university and in the general public," said Cathy Hazouri, executive director of ACLU of Colorado.
The letter, signed by Hazouri and Anthony Romero, ACLU executive director, was delivered to the regent’s office today. Calls for Churchill’s termination were the result of his expression of unpopular views, not because of the quality of his scholarship, the letter said.
"The investigation of professor Churchill’s scholarship cannot be separated from the indefensible lynch-mob furor that generated the initial calls for his termination," the letter said.
Today, CU spokeswoman Michele McKinney said she could not speak on behalf of the regents in regards to the ACLU letter. . . .
"More than 25 fully tenured faculty members from CU and other institutions served on three panels and unanimously determined that Professor Churchill engaged in acts of research misconduct," she said. "The university has an obligation to review such findings and determine what, if any, sanction is warranted."
Update II: PB, who found the whole letter, naturally enough, at the Colorado ACLU site, in comments: "The ACLU is arguing from the DBAB position. Virtually verbatim." Yes, yes they are.