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University of Iowa asks judge to dismiss political bias case

Published: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 12:23 p.m. CDT

IOWA CITY (AP) — Lawyers for the University of Iowa law school are trying to avoid another trial over whether a conservative was improperly passed over for jobs.

The school asked a judge to enter judgment in its favor Thursday and dismiss Teresa Wagner’s lawsuit.

Wagner’s attorney is asking for a retrial amid confusion about an unusual mixed verdict returned by jurors.

Jurors found Wagner didn’t face discrimination under the First Amendment but deadlocked on whether her constitutional rights to equal-protection were violated. A magistrate initially declared mistrial on both counts before accepting the verdict on count one.

University lawyers say Wagner’s 14th Amendment claim should be dismissed since jurors rejected her claim of political discrimination in count one, an essential element.

Wagner claimed that the mostly liberal faculty refused to hire her because she is a Republican who had worked for social conservative groups that oppose abortion rights.