Amid Talk of High Ideals, Arguments Close in Ward Churchill's Lawsuit

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The trial in Ward Churchill's wrongful-dismissal lawsuit against the University of Colorado drew to a close on Wednesday with the embattled professor’s lawyer telling jurors that nothing less than the fate of the Constitution rested in their hands.

“The United States of America wants to know what you are going to do with the freedom we have in this country,” the lawyer, David Lane, said in his closing argument in a packed Denver courtroom. Placing a pitcher on a stack of books written by Mr. Churchill, he said the university had punished the ethnic-studies professor for a controversial essay on the September 11, 2001, attacks by reducing his 30 years of scholarship to a "pitcher of warm spit."

But the university’s lawyer, Patrick O’Rourke, had a different view—that the university, its faculty members, and its students were under assault by the wanton recklessness of academic fraud perpetrated by Mr. Churchill.

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