Bandy Lee complaint dismissed by federal judge; Lee says she will appeal

Bandy Lee complaint dismissed by federal judge; Lee says she will appeal

“I will not cease,” stated the psychiatrist, who had alleged wrongful firing over tweets about Alan Dershowitz and tied her circumstance to broader challenges of educational independence.

Isaac Yu

12:53 am, Sep 02, 2022

Workers Reporter

Yale College

A federal judge has dismissed a significant-profile lawsuit against the University in which former professor Bandy Lee alleged that she was wrongfully fired above community statements criticizing previous President Donald Trump and his attorney. 

Lee, a psychiatrist previously affiliated with the Yale Faculty of Medicine, initial submitted her criticism versus the College in March 2021, arguing that her deal experienced been terminated unlawfully in violation of her freedom of speech. Lee’s situation initial came into the general public eye when she submitted a complaint arguing that her termination was tied to January 2020 tweets in which she reported she thought that attorney Alan Dershowitz Legislation ’62 and supporters of previous president Donald Trump expert “shared psychosis” — however Dershowitz has recurring said that he does not support the previous president. 

Following a months-lengthy lawful battle, U.S. District Decide Sarah Merriam turned down Lee’s claims, some of which had been centered on Yale’s faculty handbook and the University’s “Woodward Report,” which outlines its principles of educational flexibility. Merriam pointed out that Lee experienced been training on a voluntary, unpaid basis with a agreement that was renewed year to calendar year at the University’s discretion. The judge’s ruling was handed down on Tuesday.

“[Lee’s] imprecise assertion that some unspecified provision in the Faculty Handbook makes a appropriate to ‘academic freedom’ is plainly insufficient to show that [the] defendant undertook a contractual dedication to guarantee plaintiff ongoing reappointment,” Merriam said in the ruling.

The University’s reps experienced twice filed motions to dismiss Lee’s grievance, stating that her claims experienced “no legal foundation.” College spokesperson Karen Peart stated in a assertion that Yale “does not take into account the political thoughts of school members when creating appointment conclusions.”

“Yale is gratified that the United States District Courtroom for the District of Connecticut has agreed with Yale that Dr. Lee’s lawsuit had no authorized foundation,” Peart wrote in an electronic mail.

Lee explained to the Information that she was not stunned by the ruling. 

She described the result as a “vigorous refusal to look into the facts.” Lee appeared to query the lawful process major to the end result, noting that Yale’s 1st motion experienced been dismissed and that her attorneys experienced been provided no rationalization for the removing of a earlier choose that had been presiding about the circumstance.  

Lee explained to the News that she would probable attractiveness the ruling and get in touch with an appellate law firm on Friday.

Lee stated the top goal of her lawsuit was to prompt dialogue about the American Psychiatric Association’s Goldwater rule, which states that it is generally unethical for psychiatric gurus to remark on the psychological health and fitness of general public figures. 

The University cited Lee’s “repeated violations” of the Goldwater rule in a September 2020 letter as increasing “significant doubts” in excess of Lee’s knowledge of psychiatry. Lee, in the meantime, explained she viewed the APA’s dealing with of the rule as a “grave error” that inhibits gurus in her subject.

“I was hoping that this would be an occasion for discussion about Goldwater, but that seems to be prevented at all fees,” Lee claimed. “I will not give up.”

Lee’s earlier tweets prompted a letter from Dershowitz to College officers alleging that Lee had publicly “diagnosed’ [him] as ‘psychotic,’” in violation of psychiatric ethics procedures.

Dershowitz advised the Information that he felt the dismissal of the lawsuit was “correct.”

“[Lee] does not belong in a university environment, teaching kids,” Dershowitz claimed. “But I did not have everything to do with firing her. I wish her perfectly, but she should quit diagnosing individuals she’s never met.”

At the time of her termination, Lee experienced been educating programs at the Yale Law University constantly for at the very least 15 many years. She demanded reinstatement and damages for missing cash flow, and was supported in her promises by many market colleagues at other institutions.

Lee first rose to national prominence in 2017 for co-authoring “The Risky Situation Towards Donald Trump.” 

Jordan Fitzgerald contributed reporting.


Isaac Yu writes about Yale’s faculty and teachers. He lays out the front web site of the print edition, edits the News’ Instagram and beforehand covered transportation and urban preparing in New Haven. Hailing from Garland, Texas, he is a Berkeley Higher education sophomore majoring in American Research.