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Univ. of Louisville professor fired for his views asks court to vindicate his free speech rights

ADF attorneys available for media interviews following hearing Thursday

Wednesday, Nov 2, 2022

WHO:  Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT:  Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Josephson v. Ganzel

WHEN:  Immediately following hearing, which begins at 1 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Nov. 3

WHERE:  U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, 601 W. Broadway, Louisville. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Manager Ellie Wittman at (202) 503-7984.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a professor whom University of Louisville officials demoted, harassed, and then fired because of his views will be available for media interviews Thursday following oral arguments in Josephson v. Ganzel at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. ADF attorneys are asking the court to rule that these university officials violated the constitutionally protected freedoms of Dr. Allan M. Josephson.

“Universities should welcome differing viewpoints and encourage civil discourse in their academic communities,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, who will be arguing before the court on behalf of Josephson. “Dr. Josephson has had a long and distinguished career at the University of Louisville, leading and rebuilding its child psychiatry program. Public universities have no business demoting or firing professors simply because they hold a different view than their colleagues or the administration, but that’s exactly what’s happened here. We urge the court to vindicate and protect the constitutionally protected rights of Dr. Josephson and every professor.”

The university hired Josephson in 2003 to be the chief of the then-struggling Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology. Since then, he turned the division around, building a program that now has a national reputation. In the fall of 2017, Josephson participated in a panel discussion at The Heritage Foundation discussing treatment approaches for youth experiencing gender dysphoria. He also served as an expert witness addressing similar issues. A few of his colleagues disagreed with his views and demanded that the university take disciplinary action. University officials responded by demoting him weeks later to the role of a junior faculty member.

For the next year, Josephson was given assignments typically relegated to less experienced faculty. In February 2019, the university announced that it would not renew his contract in June, a highly unusual decision that terminated his employment at the university.

  • Pronunciation guide: Langhofer (LANG’-hoff-ur)

The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is dedicated to protecting First Amendment and related freedoms for students and faculty so that everyone can freely participate in the marketplace of ideas without fear of government censorship.

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