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College President Personally Smacked with $50,000 Bill for Violating Constitution

Home - by - February 3, 2013 - 11:30 America/New_York - 3 Comments


There is great news for students from a Georgia jury today, as former Valdosta State University President Ronald Zaccari has been found liable for $50,000 in damages for unjustly kicking one of his students, Hayden Barnes, out of school for a collage he posted on Facebook.

Absurdly declared a “clear and present danger” and kicked off of campus in 2007 because of his opposition to a parking garage project that former president Zaccari saw as part of his “legacy,” Barnes filed a federal lawsuit against Zaccari and his employer in 2008.

Why did it take so long for justice to be served? The case was more complicated than many, as the court first had to determine that a state college administrator (in this case, Zaccari) was notentitled to the defense of “qualified immunity” for his actions because he should have known they were unlawful when he was doing them. Usually, public college administrators who blatantly violate the Constitution and due process rights get off scot-free even when they lose, as their employers (read: the taxpayers) get stuck with the bill for their transgressions. The thin reed of reason on which this “qualified immunity” rests is that administrators supposedly didn’t know that their actions were unconstitutional when they took them. (Yes, that’s pretty farfetched in most of the case FIRE sees, but courts tend to buy it.)



  1. thirdtwin

    February 3rd, 2013

    To paraphrase an old bumpersticker,

    “In a perfect world, schools would respect the first amendment, and college administrators would have to hold a bake sale to pay off legal judgments.”

    Thumb up +4

  2. Maudie N Mandeville

    February 3rd, 2013

    The student is a ‘no blood for oil’ ecofreak. Hopefully, this judgment will be accepted as precedent for conservative students, too.


    Thumb up +3

  3. thirdtwin

    February 3rd, 2013

    Maudie, I was wondering howinthehell that ruling could come out of the 11th Circus Court. That explains everything. And ditto on the precedent.

    Thumb up +2