University of Colorado, Boulder: Visiting Professor’s Speech Before Capitol Violence Leads to Cancelled Classes, Removed Duties, and Nonrenewal


University of Colorado Boulder

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Case Overview


In the wake of the 2020 elections, John Eastman — a visiting professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization — served as a lawyer for then-President Trump. Eastman’s duties were relieved and his courses cancelled by CU Boulder’s administration after he made public statements — including in a three-minute speech before Trump’s January 6, 2021, speech preceding the Capitol violence — alleging that the election had been stolen. FIRE wrote to CU Boulder on February 3, noting that CU Boulder had concluded that Eastman’s speech was protected by the First Amendment and explaining that its justifications for Eastman’s removal — including public anger and the university’s reputation — are not permissible under the First Amendment.