Professors blocked from giving expert testimony by the University of Florida in a lawsuit against the state for voting rights have achieved a major legal victory. The University claimed such expert testimony violated its conflict-of-interest policy. Academic freedom activists, such as the Academic Freedom Alliance, were outraged by this claim. The university changed its policy eventually and permitted the professors to join the litigation over voting rights. However, professors applied for an injunction against a federal judge to prevent the university from adopting a similar policy again. The case survived an earlier motion to dismiss and the judge today issued a strongly worded opinion which granted preliminary injunction.
You should take a moment to notice how SurprisingThe situation of the defendants. The Defendants almost all recognize that Plaintiffs only speak in their own private capacities. Public concern. But the defendants claim that they have the right to limit this speech, if necessary. they determine—in their unlimited discretion—that the viewpoint expressed in Plaintiffs’ speech could harm an undefined “interest” at the University. What’s more? Are UF’s best interests at stake? Why should Defendants restrict Plaintiffs’ speech rights? What is the best way to do this? The speech of plaintiffs can hinder the delivery and efficiency of government services. Are you looking for workplace harmony and discipline? Despite being given not One, and not two. Four Opportunities to express yourself either orally and in writingPlaintiffs’ speech interrupts UF’s mission. Defendants are unable or unwilling to say.
You can read the full opinion here.