In a rebuke to the “woke” ideology permeating academia, a federal appeals court ruled a university violated the First Amendment when it punished a professor who declined to call a man “miss.”
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s dismissal of a lawsuit by philosphy professor Nicholas Meriwether against Shawnee State University in Ohio.
“The university punished Meriwether because he declined a male student’s demand to be referred to as a woman, with feminine titles and pronouns,” explained the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the professor.
The court ruled that, based on the allegations in the complaint, the university violated Meriwether’s First Amendment rights.
“This case forced us to defend what used to be a common belief—that nobody should be forced to contradict their core beliefs just to keep their job,” said ADF’s John Bursch. “We are very pleased that the 6th Circuit affirmed the constitutional right of public university professors to speak and lead discussions, even on hotly contested issues. The freedoms of speech and religion must be vigorously protected if universities are to remain places where ideas can be debated and learning can take place.”
The court said: “Tradit