Justices Reject Texas College Official’s Claims Over Censure


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a unanimous ruling on Thursday against an elected public college official in Texas who argued his free speech rights were violated after his colleagues’ censured him.

“The justices had stepped into a yearslong dispute between the Houston Community College board of trustees and one of its members, Dave Wilson. The board oversees various community colleges in Texas. Wilson has sued his colleagues on several occasions, arranged for robocalls against some, and even hired a private investigator to try to prove another didn’t live in the district she represents, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in his opinion for the court,” The Associated Press reported.

“In 2018, the board adopted a resolution of censure against Wilson, calling his conduct ‘not only inappropriate but reprehensible.’ The censure followed an earlier reprimand from the board. Wilson amended one of his lawsuits to challenge the censure,” the report added.

Gorsuch wrote that a “purely verbal censure” of a colleague is not a First Amendment violation.

“Doubtless, by invoking its ‘censure’ authority in the second resolution the Board added a measure of sting. But we cannot see how that alone changed the equation and materially inhibited Mr. Wilson’s ability to speak freely,” Gorsuch wrote, calling the court’s decision a narrow one.


The nation’s highest court is also currently facing questions about Justice Clarence Thomas.

The Supreme Court declined to provide an update on Wednesday about whether Thomas remains in the hospital after he experienced a “flu-like infection.”

“The court said Sunday that the 73-year-old Thomas had been admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington on Friday after experiencing flu-like symptoms, and he was diagnosed with an infection. His symptoms are abating, and he was expected to be released Monday or Tuesday, the court said in a statement at the time. But on Wednesday morning, court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said she had no update to provide,” the Associated Press reported.

“The court heard arguments Wednesday morning and Chief Justice John Roberts said, as he has for the past two days, that while Thomas was not present he would participate in the case by reviewing the arguments’ transcript and briefs. Roberts said Thomas was unable to be present today without explanation. Thomas did not have COVID-19 and his infection was being treated with intravenous antibiotics, the court has said,” the report added.

News broke late on Sunday night that Thomas had been hospitalized with a “flu-like infection.”

“Justice Clarence Thomas was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington D.C., on Friday evening after experiencing flu-like symptoms,” the statement read, as reported by The Economist’s Steve Mazie.


“He underwent tests, was diagnosed with an infection and is being treated with intravenous antibiotics,” the statement continued. “His symptoms are abating, he is resting comfortably, and he expected to be released from the hospital in a day or two.”

“Justice Thomas will participate in the consideration and discussion of any cases for which he is not present on the basis of the briefs, transcripts, and audio of the oral arguments,” the statement added.

Earlier this month, Thomas issued a warning about the future of the nation’s highest court.


During an address in Utah sponsored by the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, Thomas warned about the leftist cultural onslaught and warned that future generations will pay the price if the Supreme Court is overcome.

“My fear isn’t for me. But it is for your kids and your grandkids and the next generation. What are we going to leave them? Are we leaving them a mess or are we leaving them a country? Are we leaving them chaos or are we going to leave them a court?” he said.

“Let’s be honest,” he said about the effort to pack the court to make it permanently lean to the left. “This is really about the results they want. They haven’t been able to make the institutions do what they want, to give them what they want.”

“I’m afraid, particularly in this world of cancel culture attack, I don’t know where you’re going to learn to engage as we did when I grew up. If you don’t learn at that level in high school, in grammar school, in your neighborhood, or in civic organizations, then how do you have it when you’re making decisions in government, in the legislature, or in the courts?” he said.

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