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Against "Academic Deference": How Recent Developments In Employment Discrimination Law Undercut An Already Dubious Doctrine, Scott A. Moss
When the defendant in an employment case is a college or other institution of higher education, the plaintiff usually will face an "academic deference" argument. Citing the importance of their "academic freedom," defendants and sympathetic courts have asserted that federal courts should decline to "invade" higher education with "federal court supervision." Whether or not courts cite the "academic deference" doctrine expressly, they certainly have proven hostile to professors' claims of discrimination, dismissing as a matter of law claims that seemed quite strong, or at least solid enough to allow a factfinder to rule either way. Indeed, empirical evidence shows that ...