How FIRE Tried to Save Wyoming Taxpayers $86,000
July 12, 2010
We've written a number of times here about the University of Wyoming's ill-advised and unconstitutional attempts to prevent education professor and former Weather Underground leader William Ayers from speaking on the UW campus after he was duly invited. We predicted that this effort would fail miserably and expensively, and we were, of course, right. Most recently, I wrote here that the attempted end-run around the First Amendment cost the university and, ultimately, the people of Wyoming $50,000.
That $50,000 doesn't tell the whole story, as we've learned recently, for it only covers the legal fees for the plaintiffs, Ayers and UW student Meg Lanker. UW had its own legal fees to pay, ballooning the cost to more than $86,000, as the Billings Gazette states:
UW spokeswoman Jessica Lowell released the compiled legal costs. They include nearly $30,000 paid to Thomas S. Rice, an attorney for the university. The costs also include $6,570 for travel and incidental expenses related to the lawsuit.
$30,000 for trying to squelch the First Amendment? Nice work if you can get it. Try telling the people of Wyoming that this was a good use of taxpayer money.