Judge Tells Dartmouth to Reinstate Student Editors
Two student journalists have been ordered reinstated at Dartmouth College by a judge who said their suspensions were tainted by bias against the off-campus, conservative weekly for which they worked.
Superior Court Judge Bruce Mohl said he found “no persuasive evidence” that the students were actually punished for their association with The Darmouth Review.
But he said one member of the panel that disciplined Review editors Christopher Baldwin of Hinsdale, Ill. and John Sutter of St. Louis harbored “substantial bias and prejudice” against the weekly.
As a result, he ordered the Ivy League school to reinstate the two, who could be disciplined again by a reconstituted disciplinary panel.
Mohl’s ruling ends the first skirmish on what he described as “a massive legal battleground” in which the students, backed by prominent conservatives including William F. Buckley Jr. and William Simon, say that Dartmouth discriminates against conservatives.
The students were suspended in March for 18 months for harassment for their role in a classroom confrontation with a black music professor, William Cole.
The students, who are white, denied any racial motivation, but the incident heightened racial tension on the Hanover campus, where Baldwin and other students, most of them Review staffers, were disciplined for a nighttime sledgehammer attack on anti-apartheid shanties on campus in 1986.