High court denies appeal from ex-CU professor Ward Churchill

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill in his effort to reclaim his job.

The justices did not comment Monday in refusing to review a Colorado Supreme Court ruling in favor of the university.

Churchill faced condemnation and calls for his dismissal over an essay describing some victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as "little Eichmanns," a reference to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi leader who helped orchestrate the Holocaust.

The university investigated whether the piece was protected under the First Amendment and found that it was.

But while the investigation was under way, other academics accused Churchill of plagiarism and fraud in scholarly writings, which led to his termination in 2007. None of the allegations concerned the Sept. 11 essay.

A jury in July 2009 found that the school unlawfully fired Ward Churchill. However, the Denver District Court judge on the case then ruled in favor of the school, saying it was entitled to "quasi-judicial immunity" and awarded Churchill $1 in damages.

The judge refused to reinstate Churchill. The Colorado Court of Appeals agreed.

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