U of I asks federal judge to throw out Salaita lawsuit

 URBANA -- The University of Illinois asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by a professor who lost a job offer from the school over profane, anti-Israel Twitter messages.

University lawyers on Wednesday filed a motion arguing that Steven Salaita had no "binding contract" to go work for the university.

Salaita's lawyer Anand Swaminathan says the motion ignores normal academic hiring practices.

Salaita accepted an offer in 2013 to teach at the Urbana-Champaign campus starting in August 2014. But the offer was rescinded over sometimes-profane, anti-Israel Twitter messages he sent last summer.

His lawsuit argues he'd already been hired and his speech was protected. But the university argues his hiring did not yet have the required approval of university trustees.

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