Court allows lawsuit over political bias to go to trial

March 19, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Supreme Court has ruled that a former graduate student’s lawsuit alleging his free-speech rights were violated over his conservative political beliefs should be allowed to go to trial.

The Providence Journal reports the high court’s ruling Monday reverses a superior court judge’s decision to dismiss William Felkner’s case.

Felkner claims Rhode Island College advocated a “progressive” social agenda, retaliated against him for expressing his political beliefs and compelled him to change his beliefs to get his degree.

Felkner, who never completed his degree at the School of Social Work, says he is looking forward to his day in court.

RIC spokesman John Taraborelli says the college maintains Felkner’s constitutional rights were not violated, and that the actions of defendants were appropriate at all times.