University of Florida: Professors Barred from Testifying in Voting Rights Case Against State

Category: Free Speech
Schools: 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.