University of Florida: Professors Barred from Testifying in Voting Rights Case Against State
University of Florida
On October 29, 2021, The New York Times reported that the University of Florida was prohibiting three professors from testifying in a voting rights lawsuit brought against the state. The following day, the university said it had “denied requests of these full-time employees to undertake outside paid work that is adverse to the university’s interests as a state of Florida institution.” The university later said the professors could testify if they did so pro bono. On November 1, FIRE wrote to UF explaining that it is a violation of the professors’ First Amendment rights to prohibit them from testifying in lawsuits as private citizens on a matter of public concern. On November 5, UF reversed course and confirmed to FIRE that it would allow the professors to testify regardless of whether they receive compensation.