Judge allows civil rights case against Temple University to move forward

Conservative student’s degree withheld because of political beliefs, military status
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

PHILADELPHIA — In a victory for free speech rights on campus, a federal judge is allowing a suit against Temple University to go forward, denying the school’s motion to dismiss the core constitutional claims in the case.  Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund’s Center for Academic Freedom filed the case against Temple in February on behalf of a student facing retaliatory discrimination because of his conservative political views and military status.

“Earning a university degree should not be contingent upon holding the ‘politically correct’ point of view,” said ADF Litigation Counsel David Hacker.  “As the marketplace of ideas, schools of higher education must be consistent when they say they respect differing viewpoints and beliefs as the hallmark of academia in a free and open society.”

According to the complaint, Christian DeJohn, a graduate student at Temple and a sergeant in the Pennsylvania National Guard, was repeatedly thwarted by school officials in his attempt to earn a master’s degree after expressing his political views on war in class and on campus.  While portions of the lawsuit were partially dismissed, the court order will allow DeJohn to pursue allegations that school officials violated his constitutional rights.

The opinion issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in DeJohn v. Temple University is available here.

A copy of the complaint filed by ADF attorneys in February may be read here.

ADF’s Center for Academic Freedom is defending religious freedom at America’s public universities.  ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.

www.telladf.org              www.centerforacademicfreedom.org