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  • AAUP Amicus Briefs | AAUP
    counsel and general secretary the AAUP s Litigation Committee composed of legal experts in a variety of areas provides additional guidance The AAUP generally files amicus briefs only in appellate or supreme courts at the state or federal level The AAUP legal staff sometimes takes primary responsibility for drafting and submitting an amicus brief other times the AAUP signs onto a coalition brief that has been drafted primarily by another organization but implicates an important interest of the AAUP The first category of briefs generally relate squarely to issues in higher education for instance tenure academic freedom economic security for faculty members the meaning of a faculty handbook or faculty members intellectual property rights Examples of such cases are Otero Burgos vs Inter American University Hong v Grant Schrier v University of Colorado Saxe v Board of Trustees of Metropolitan State College of Denver and Pittsburg State University Kansas NEA v Kansas Board of Regents PSU and PERB all described below The second kind of briefs are generally filed in cases that could have a significant impact on faculty but do not arise in the context of higher education or do not squarely implicate the First Amendment or free speech rights In these cases we can preserve our resources by working with other organizations to articulate shared concerns For instance Crawford v Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County described below involved the limits of Title VII protection for an employee who responds to questions as part of an internal sexual harassment investigation The AAUP joined other interested organizations in submitting a brief to the Supreme Court which agreed with the AAUP and our partners that Title VII was intended to cover employees who participate in a variety of ways in efforts to root out sexual harassment Although the case

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/programs/legal/2005-11%2Bamicus.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • AAUP, AAR, PEN Center, & Ramadan v. Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, 463 F. Supp. 2d 400 (S.D.N.Y. 2006 ) | AAUP
    such an argument does not apply in cases where United States citizens bring suit to vindicate their constitutional rights including First Amendment rights The court s decision specifically noted that the AAUP had criticized the government s revocation of Professor Ramadan s visa Update Just before the court s deadline Professor Ramadan received a letter from the United States Embassy in Bern informing him that his visa had been denied for allegedly providing material support to a terrorist organization The letter cited several donations by Professor Ramadan to Palestinian relief organizations that the government alleges in turn gave money to Hamas a designated terrorist organization Professor Ramadan had himself previously disclosed these donations to the U S government The organizations were registered charities in France at the time that Professor Ramadan made any donations and were not deemed terrorist organizations by the United States until 2003 after Professor Ramadan s final donation On January 30 2007 the AAUP and the other plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint along with the amended complaint itself available here pdf and here pdf which responds to the government s material support argument Specifically the amended complaint asserts that the government s new reasons for excluding Professor Ramadan are as unjust and unlawful as its reliance on the ideological exclusion provision the organizations were not listed as terrorist organizations at the time that Professor Ramadan gave his donations and he neither knew nor should have known that they were providing funds to Hamas if in fact they were The amended complaint therefore seeks in addition to a declaration that the ideological exclusion provision is unconstitutional on its face and as applied to Professor Ramadan a declaration that the material support provision is inapplicable to Professor Ramadan and an injunction prohibiting the government from relying on the provision to exclude him In addition the amended complaint refers to the AAUP s historical and ongoing commitment to the free circulation of scholars including its advocacy of United States immigration reform and its intervention on behalf of foreign scholars who have been excluded from the country on the basis of their political beliefs and associations Most recently as noted by the amended complaint the AAUP wrote to the Departments of State and Homeland Security to protest the exclusion of Professor Adam Habib the executive director of South Africa s Human Sciences Research Council s Democracy and Governance Programme and the eventual revocation of Professor Habib s visa and the visas of his wife and two young children On February 23 2007 the AAUP and the other plaintiffs filed a Motion for Summary Judgment pdf accompanied by an extensive supporting declaration pdf by AAUP President Cary Nelson The motion challenges the government s reliance on the ideological exclusion provision and the material support provision and requests several kinds of relief from the court a ruling that the government s reliance on the material support provision to exclude Professor Ramadan violates the U S Constitution

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/brief/aaup-aar-pen-center-ramadan-v-secretaries-state-and-homeland-security-463-f-supp-2d-400-sdny (2016-02-13)
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  • ACLU, AAUP, & Pen American Center v. Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and Central Intelligence Agency ,) | AAUP
    Start a Chapter I Need Help With Workplace Issues Understanding Terms and Abbreviations Responding to Financial Crisis You are here Home ACLU AAUP Pen American Center v Department of State Department of Homeland Security Department of Justice and Central Intelligence Agency On Thursday November 10 2005 the American Association of University Professors AAUP joined as a plaintiff with the American Civil Liberties Union ACLU and PEN American Center in seeking the prompt release of records under a Freedom of Information Act request filed in March 2005 from the U S Departments of State Justice and Homeland Security and the Central Intelligence Agency The plaintiffs allege in the complaint pdf that the government has invoked section 411 of the Patriot Act which permits the exclusion of prominent individuals who have used their positions to endorse or espouse terrorism to exclude and stigmatize prominent critics of U S foreign policy individuals who may have never supported terrorism and in at least some cases have vocally opposed it The complaint continues The exclusion of such individuals deprives Americans of the opportunity to engage in debate and dialogue with widely respected scholars and intellectuals and distorts public debate about matters of significant political importance In addition the government s use of its visa power to limit the range of ideas American citizens are allowed to hear violates rights protected by the First Amendment The non citizen individual scholars named in the complaint are known for their anti terrorist stands including the Swiss intellectual Tariq Ramadan and the prominent Nicaraguan scholar and former government official Dora Maria Tellez as well as a group of Cuban scholars who were scheduled to attend a conference among others Read the AAUP press release Update On January 20 2006 the District Court ordered the State Department the CIA and

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/brief/aclu-aaup-pen-american-center-v-department-state-department-homeland-security-department (2016-02-13)
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  • Pittsburg State University/Kansas NEA v. Kansas Board of Regents, PSU and PERB, 280 Kan. 408 (Kan. 2005) | AAUP
    the Kansas Supreme Court and on July 13 2005 the AAUP filed an amicus brief pdf in that court on the narrow issue of faculty members ownership of their own copyrights The AAUP argued that the work for hire doctrine does not include faculty intellectual property noting that federal appellate court decisions traditional academic practices and notions of academic freedom all point to faculty retaining ownership of their work as original authors The brief highlighted AAUP s Statement on Copyright which emphasizes that preservation of academic freedom requires that faculty members control their own intellectual property A copy of the brief is available pdf Status In a victory for AAUP on November 10 2005 the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that intellectual property rights are not simply assumed to be work for hire belonging to the university and can be a subject of collective bargaining Finding the appellate court s reasoning to be an incorrect application of federal copyright law the Kansas Supreme Court concluded that to assume universities blanket ownership of faculty intellectual property was too big a leap Instead the court recognized that the question of ownership of faculty work is a complex one depending on a careful analysis of the employment relationship and the reason for and method of creation of the work itself The court cited the AAUP Statement on Copyright and recognized that faculty intellectual property ownership cannot be treated simply as the work of an employee belonging to an employer but rather will necessarily involve not just a case by case evaluation but potentially a task by task evaluation The decision is available at http www kscourts org kscases supct 2005 20051110 91305 htm The court returned the case to the district court which returned it to the Public Employee Relations Board PERB for additional findings regarding whether ownership of intellectual property is a condition of employment and therefore mandatorily negotiable under the Public Employer Employee Relations Act PEERA and whether ownership of intellectual property is an inherent management prerogative and therefore not mandatorily negotiable under an exception in the state law In a second victory for the KNEA and faculty members the PERB concluded in February 2007 pdf that ownership of intellectual property was a mandatory subject of bargaining the PERB therefore found that the university and Regents had engaged in various prohibited bargaining practices and ordered that the KBR and university withdraw its unilateral implementation of the intellectual property policy and meet and confer in good faith with the KNEA on intellectual property rights The PERB noted that under Kansas law an employer is prohibited from willfully refusing to meet and confer with the exclusive representative of employees in a bargaining unit over conditions of employment which include but are not limited to such matters as salaries wages hours of work leave benefits and grievance procedures To determine whether intellectual property rights which are not expressly included in the list of conditions of employment are mandatorily negotiable the PERB weighed the interests of

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/brief/pittsburg-state-universitykansas-nea-v-kansas-board-regents-psu-and-perb-280-kan-408-kan-2005 (2016-02-13)
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  • Smith v. City of Jackson, 544 U.S. 228 (2005) | AAUP
    AAUP Policies Reports Academe Economic Status Report Compensation Survey Bulletin of the AAUP The Redbook Journal of Academic Freedom AAUP Bookstore News AAUP in the News AAUP Updates For the Media Get Involved Upcoming Events Local Toolkit Issue Campaigns Find Chapters Conferences Start a Chapter I Need Help With Workplace Issues Understanding Terms and Abbreviations Responding to Financial Crisis You are here Home Smith v City of Jackson 544 U S 228 2005 On March 29 2004 the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in this case The issue before the Court was whether employees can sue employers under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act ADEA for actions or policies that have a disparate impact or unintentionally fall more harshly on employees over the age of 40 The AAUP joined other civil rights groups in signing onto an amicus brief penned by the AARP that argues that the legislative history of the ADEA clearly establishes that Congress intended that disparate impact cases should be actionable AAUP s On Discrimination policy prohibits colleges and universities from practicing illegal or unconstitutional discrimination or discrimination on a basis not demonstrably related to the job function involved including but not limited to age

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/brief/smith-v-city-jackson-544-us-228-2005 (2016-02-13)
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  • Crue v. Aiken, 204 F. Supp. 2d 1130 (C.D. Ill. 2002); Crue v. Aiken, 370 F.3d 668 (7th Cir. 2004 ) | AAUP
    The Redbook Journal of Academic Freedom AAUP Bookstore News AAUP in the News AAUP Updates For the Media Get Involved Upcoming Events Local Toolkit Issue Campaigns Find Chapters Conferences Start a Chapter I Need Help With Workplace Issues Understanding Terms and Abbreviations Responding to Financial Crisis You are here Home Crue v Aiken 204 F Supp 2d 1130 C D Ill 2002 Crue v Aiken 370 F 3d 668 7th Cir 2004 This case involves a challenge by faculty and students at the University of Illinois Champaign to the administration s policy prohibiting them from communicating with prospective student athletes The faculty and students oppose the school s use of the Chief Illiniwek mascot and contend in part that the mascot creates a hostile learning environment for Native American students and increases the difficulty of recruiting Native American students to the campus They wish to contact prospective student athletes to make them aware of this controversy The district court ruled in favor of the faculty and students finding that the administration s directive violated the First Amendment Michael Aiken former chancellor at the University of Illinois appealed to the Seventh Circuit In October 2003 the national AAUP and University of Illinois Champaign AAUP Chapter filed a joint amicus brief in support of the faculty s right to speak to prospective student athletes about the mascot The brief which was written by Professor Matthew Finkin University of Illinois Champaign College of Law focuses on the protections afforded to professors to speak out as citizens under the university s own regulations and the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure In addition the brief argues that the First Amendment rights of faculty outweigh the administration s interests A copy of the brief is available pdf Status On June 1 2004

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/brief/crue-v-aiken-204-f-supp-2d-1130-cd-ill-2002-crue-v-aiken-370-f3d-668-7th-cir-2004 (2016-02-13)
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  • Smith v. University of Washington Law School, 392 F.3d 367 (9th Cir. 2004) | AAUP
    1998 voters approved a state initiative to ban race conscious affirmative action in the public sector and the University announced that it was taking steps to suspend the consideration of race and gender in admissions A federal district court held that the state initiative made much of the case moot including class action claims seeking to declare the old admissions policy unconstitutional The court also held that the discrimination claim should be decided based on principles enunciated in the Supreme Court s 1978 Bakke decision The district court s decision was appealed to the Ninth Circuit regarding the applicability of the Bakke principles on diversity As in the Michigan and Georgia cases AAUP joined an amicus brief with the American Council on Education and many other higher education organizations emphasizing the educational benefits of diversity In December 2000 the Ninth Circuit upheld the district court s decision concluding that the principles set out in the Supreme Court s Bakke decision govern Applying Bakke the Ninth Circuit held that the Fourteenth Amendment permits University admissions programs which consider race for other than remedial purposes and educational diversity is a compelling governmental interest that meets the demands of strict scrutiny of race conscious measures The Washington state law banning race conscious affirmative action in public school admissions still remains in effect however Thus the University of Washington is still barred by state law from considering race in its admissions process The opinion is available at http laws lp findlaw com 9th 9935209 html In May 2001 the Supreme Court denied certiorari leaving this Ninth Circuit opinion standing After the Supreme Court s denial of certiorari the case went back down to the district court for a decision on the merits in accordance with the Ninth Circuit s decision that the law of

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/brief/smith-v-university-washington-law-school-392-f3d-367-9th-cir-2004 (2016-02-13)
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  • Axson-Flynn v. Johnson, 356 F.3d 1277 (10th Cir. 2004) | AAUP
    her right to free speech and free exercise of religion under the First Amendment by requiring as part of the curriculum that students perform in class plays despite Axson Flynn s religious objections As part of the theater department curriculum the professors assert that it is an essential part of an actor s training to take on difficult roles roles which sometime s make actors uncomfortable and challenge their perspective The student alleges that she told the theater department before being accepted into the Actor Training Program that she refused to take the name of God or Christ in vain or use certain offensive words After she was accepted into the program she changed some words in assigned scripts for in class performances so as to avoid using words she found offensive Her professors warned her that she would not be able to change scripts in future assignments Axson Flynn dropped out of the special theater program and sued her professors In August 2001 the district court ruled against the student The court hypothesized that if the curriculum requirements were to constitute a First Amendment violation then a believer in creationism could not be required to discuss and master the theory of evolution in a science class a neo Nazi could refuse to discuss write or consider the Holocaust in a critical manner in a history class A copy of the federal district court opinion is available at http www nysd uscourts gov courtweb pdf D10utxc 01 08418 PDF Axson Flynn appealed the ruling to the U S Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit The AAUP filed an amicus brief in support of the professors and university in May 2002 In the brief the AAUP argues that 1 seeking to hold professors liable for damages because they insist that

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/brief/axson-flynn-v-johnson-356-f3d-1277-10th-cir-2004 (2016-02-13)
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