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Federal Trial Begins—Iowa PTer Claims Political Beliefs Kept Her From Getting FT Jobs

By Ryan Foley

In a January 2012 article, AdjunctNation reported:

Teresa Wagner a graduate of the law school, sued when she was not hired as a full-time instructor or part-time adjunct despite her superior qualifications. Instead, the law school hired candidates whose resumes paled in comparison to Wagner’s experience. While the individuals hired were less qualified, they had a significant leg up on Wagner — their liberal political beliefs. On the other hand, Wagner was a registered Republican and had worked as a lawyer for the National Right to Life Committee, an anti-abortion advocacy group, and at the Family Research Council. Despite her qualifications, however, Wagner’s conservative background and politics was a deal breaker to the faculty.

A lower court initially dismissed Wagner’s lawsuit, but on December 28, 2011 the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reinstated the case. And as the federal court noted, the new hearing will provide the opportunity to get at the heart of the matter — “whether Dean Jones [the defendant] would have made the same hiring decisions in the absence of Wagner’s political affiliations and beliefs.”

Now, Wagner is finally getting her day in court.

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