Court: University of North Texas professor’s First Amendment retaliation lawsuit over firing for calling ‘microaggression’ flyers ‘garbage’ can continue

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reports:

A First Amendment lawsuit filed by a former University of North Texas adjunct professor who was non-renewed in 2019 for criticizing microaggressions can continue, a federal district court judge held on Friday. Along with denying the university’s motion to dismiss Nathaniel Hiers’ First Amendment retaliation claims, the court held that attempting to force Hiers to apologize likely comprised unconstitutionally compelled speech. The court also denied qualified immunity to the UNT administrators involved in the alleged retaliation, concluding that “any reasonable university official would have known that it was unconstitutional to discontinue [Hiers’s] employment because of his speech.”