HIGHER EDUCATION: University Settles with Professor In Free Speech Case Over Pronoun Use

HIGHER EDUCATION:  University Settles with Professor In Free Speech Case Over Pronoun Use

Cincinnati, OhioA Shawnee State University professor has settled for $400,000 in a lawsuit against his employer, arguing it was within his First Amendment rights to refuse using the preferred pronouns of a student who identifies as female.

Nicholas Meriwether, a Shawnee philosophy professor, was issued a written rebuke after a 2018 Title IX investigation into the situation, prompting the lawsuit, which was originally dismissed in February 2020, when a lower district court found there were no “broader societal concerns,” but revived by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Shawnee State University, located in Portsmouth, Ohio, agreed to settle the case Thursday. Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Meriwether, released a statement saying the university “agreed to pay $400,000 in damages and Meriwether’s attorneys’ fees. Additionally, considering the 6th Circuit’s ruling, the university is rescinding the written warning it issued Meriwether.”

Shawnee State University issued a statement saying its decision to settle was made for economic reasons.

Read more at The Washington Examiner.