DENVER (CBS4)– Fired University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill isn’t giving up. He took his case to the Colorado Supreme Court on Thursday.
The CU Board of Regents fired Churchill. He challenged that decision in court and won but the jury only awarded him $1 in damages.
That judge would not order him reinstated. Now he’s taken his appeal to the highest court in the state.
Churchill said he just wants his job back.
Churchill’s attorney David Lane set his agenda quickly, stating his client was fired because of his controversial writings.
“If free speech cannot find a safe haven on a university campus this society generally is in decline,” said Lane.
Churchill became headline news after an essay gained notoriety in which he wrote of the September 11th attacks, “They were targeting those people I refer to as little Eichmann’s, who were making the world’s economic system hum to the service of the United States and at their expense.”
The tenured ethnic studies professor became a magnet for the media.
Churchill’s attorney told the court of a lynch mob mentality, “It was a torchlight parade of march by angry citizens to Regent Hall in Boulder, all but armed with pitchforks, demanding that the monster Ward Churchill be turned over for immediate destruction.”
The attorney for CU, Patrick O’Rourke has repeatedly claimed Churchill was fired for plagiarism and making up facts.
“The University of Colorado has a responsibility to the citizens of the state to make sure the people who teach at the university practice good scholarship and they do it ethically,” said O’Rourke.
The justices will take the next step in the long-running dispute.
When asked by CBS4’s Rick Sallinger if he was confident the court would give him his job back, Churchill replied, “Are you confident you have a job?”
Churchill’s lawyers want either back pay or preferably reinstatement to the job. The state Supreme Court decision will come later. That decision could also be appealed.