WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — UNCW is heading back to court. A federal court of appeals ruled to send Dr. Mike Adams’s lawsuit against the UNCW back to court to settle his First Amendment retaliation claim.
“They should be embarrassed that three Republican judges in the 4th Circuit had to tell a bunch of liberal college professors that they had to abide to the First Amendment by the Constitution,” Adams, an associate professor in criminology.
After a district court judge denied Dr. Mike Adams’s lawsuit in November, he did not give up. He appealed Judge Malcom Howard’s decision in federal court, and the federal court agreed with Adams sending his case back to trial. Adams says he could not be more excited about the decision.
“It was very strongly rejected by the Court of Appeals,” Adam said. “We didn’t just win on that issue, we won unanimously and in very, very strong language rebuking the university position. It is just a huge victory. I’m absolutely thrilled with the result.”
Although Adams feels the decision is a strong victory for his case, the university disagrees.
UNCW general counsel Rob Hoon said in a statement: “We are pleased that summary judgement has been affirmed and that the plaintiff’s claims of religious discrimination and equal protection have been dismissed. The third claim has been remanded to the district court for further review; as such, it is not a victory for either the plaintiff or the defendant.”
Adams says the court’s decision proves that although his odds seemed insurmountable, progress is still possible.
“I hope that it inspires the students to have some confidence not only to speak words that are consistent with the First Amendment but also to engage in activities that are consistent with the First Amendment to give it meaning,” Adams said.
Adams says people from both side of the political spectrum support the appeals court’s decision. He says regardless of your political beliefs, you cannot argue the rights provided by the Constitution.