Teresa R. Wagner, a former student at the University of Iowa College of Law and a former teacher at the George Mason University School of Law, was refused employment at the University of Iowa College of Law. Ms. Wagner is a conservative Republican activist and believes her political beliefs are the cause for this refusal. Consequently, she has sued the University of Iowa for discrimination based on political motivation.
In December 2011, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit decided that Ms. Wagner’s case should go to trial, as there was sufficient evidence suggesting that the University’s refusal to employ Ms. Wagner was based on Ms. Wagner’s political beliefs. This preliminary victory for the application of First Amendment rights related to political beliefs and association to academic hiring might enable professors who have been discriminated against because of their political beliefs to take action and affirm their rights.