Wednesday, February 12, 2020

BREAKING: An important transgender win

Wednesday, US District Court Judge Susan J. Dlott, Southern District of Ohio, has dismissed Meriwether v. Hartop. You may recall that Nicholas K. Meriwether, a faculty member of Shawnee State University was disciplined by his employer for refusing to use gender-correct pronouns. Should Meriwether repeat this behavior he could be subject to revocation of his tenure and dismissal.

Meriwether did what was expected. He retained the services of Alliance Defending Freedom and sued his former employer with a litany of complaints. These included the requisite affront to Meriwether's religious freedom and his right to free speech.

According to Judge Dlott:
The Court concludes that Meriwether failed to state a claim for violation of his rights under the United States Constitution. His speech—the manner by which he addressed a transgender student—was not protected under the First Amendment. Further, he did not plead facts sufficient to state a claim for a violation of his right to free exercise of religion…
I actually hope that ADF appeals this decision because then they risk establishing a precedent which will apply throughout the Sixth Circuit which includes most of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. It will also be cited in similar cases in other circuits.
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Correction: A previous version of this post indicated that Meriwether had been dismissed rather than disciplined. Thanks to an observant and thoughtful reader the post has been corrected.

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