The jurors in Ward Churchill's wrongful-termination lawsuit against the University of Colorado at Boulder didn't want to give either side in the case a clear victory -- hence, their ruling that Churchill only deserved a single greenback despite their view that he'd been fired in large part due to protected speech, not academic misconduct. Still, it was clear from the post-decision behavior of the assorted parties who came out on top: Churchill. The possibility remains that Judge Larry Naves will order CU to give Churchill his job back -- a thumb in the eye of the university capable of causing embarrassment and humiliation for many years to come. And even if that doesn't happen, Churchill's reputation has been enhanced tremendously among his anti-establishment constituency, whose members frankly might have been put off had he walked away with a huge stack of cash.
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After the verdict yesterday, KHOW's Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman, the self-appointed leaders of the Get Ward Brigade, argued that Churchill's attorney, David Lane, had asked the jury to hit CU hard in the bank account, and by not doing so, they were repudiating the former (but maybe not for much longer) prof. Still, Churchill's never sought the approval of the sort of average citizen represented by the half-dozen folks who sat in judgment of him. Instead, he's positioned himself as a rebel, and a rebel he remains. And his symbol of victory? A dollar bill.