McAdams: 'Vindication' in Supreme Court victory over Marquette

WTMJ Exclusive/The Steve Scaffidi Show
Posted at 9:54 AM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 14:14:09-04

"Finally, we have vindication from the highest court able to hear this (case)."

Former Marquette professor John McAdams says the three-and-a-half year "ordeal," as he put it, is over after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in favor of him over Marquette University, who fired him after a blog post he wrote in 2014 criticizing a graduate student for discouraging a debate over same-sex marriage in their classroom.

More coverage:
- Wisconsin Supreme Court sides with McAdams over Marquette
Marquette: McAdams' behavior 'crossed the line'

"Marquette guarantees faculty all the rights of association and expression in the U.S. Constitution, which of course includes the first amendment. Private colleges don't have to do that, but Marquette has chosen to. If you want to recruit faculty, you have to assure them of academic freedom," said McAdams on WTMJ's Steve Scaffidi Show hosted by Tracy Johnson on Friday.

"Marquette tried to weasel around that, saying I acted irresponsibly in blogging about this graduate instructor who, in fact, abused a student by telling them that if he spoke out against gay marriage, that would be homophobic and would be offensive to any gays. If Marquette could weasel around the apparent strong guarantee of academic freedom, public universities could, too. Faculty at public universities are, by default, without any contractual provision, protected by the First Amendment. Other private sector institutions could. Indeed, the Association of Jesuit Universities filed a brief against me. They want to get rid of troublesome faculty, faculty who say controversial things, faculty who air the dirty linens of their institutions. My case could have had very wide ramifications if it had gone the other way."

McAdams will be allowed to return to his job at Marquette University with what he calls his academic freedom protected.

"I'll be doing what I've always done, which is teach and do research. If you're suggesting the administration won't much like me, that's clearly the case. Happily at most institutions, that's largely irrelevant," said McAdams.

"The students at Marquette are pretty good. It's very enjoyable to teach those students. I want to go back for the students. Frankly, I don't care how dysfunctional the administration is."

He criticized Marquette's administration for what he called "political correctness" and how he believes the school acts with a focus on bureaucracy instead of the school's mission.

"Institutions do not like whistleblowers. They don't like people who embarass them by hanging out their dirty linens. I have done a number of things that have embarassed Marquette and created bad publicity for Marquette. Like any journalist, when you see abuses, you'd like to out them. Given that I have a contractual guarantee of free speech...I take advantage of that since I have that right."