American Free Press describes Prof. James Tracy’s wrongful termination suit against Florida Atlantic University (FAU) as the first amendment case that merits the most media attention, in a recent article by Dave Gahary.
Yet, there has been hardly a murmur from other news sources. Since the lawsuit was filed in April 2016, FAU attempted to have it dismissed by a federal judge, arguing that Tracy was fired for “insubordination,” not for opinions expressed about Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon bombing on his personal blog.
Attacks against his free speech rights were conspicuously launched by CNN’s Anderson Cooper in 2013, targeting Tracy as well as his job as a tenured professor. This led to disciplinary actions by the university based on the pretext that Tracy had been remiss in reporting his personal blogging activities to the FAU administration.
After narrowing the original complaint, Tracy’s attorney, Louis Leo IV, is proceeding with the case.
Leo says that the University caved to the pressures of media and public opinion. Ultimately, he says, FAU demonstrated “willful, wanton and reckless disregard for federally protected rights.” Click here for his interview with American Free Press.
If a tenured faculty member can be terminated for exercising basic free speech rights, anyone is a target. Weekend bloggers, chronic tweeters and others who use social media to express their opinions are equally susceptible to retaliation lawsuits and other actions.
The James Tracy Legal Defense Fund is accepting donations by check or money order. They can be sent to 300 NW 36th Court, Boca Raton, FL 33431. You can visit Tracy’s website at tracylegaldefense.org.