Nebraska governor retracts honor for 2 academics who protested against the conservative group

Amanda Gailey, Associate Professor

(University of Nebraska-Lincoln )

Gov. Pete Ricketts has withdrawn an honorary admiralship of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate professor, and professor, who were involved in a protest against a conservative group of students.

The Republican governor pulled the “Nebraska Navy” admiralships for Amanda Gailey and Courtney Lawton on Jan. 31, less than a month after the granting of them at the request of one of their allies.

Lawton, a university lecturer, was told that her contract would not be extended after she was filmed to protest against a campus recruiting event for Turning point USA, a conservative group that holds a public “watch list” of professors who it claims are biased.

In the Aug. 25 video, Lawton referred to a second year student Kaitlyn Mullen as a “neo-fascist” and accused her of arguing for the destruction of public schools and universities. Mullen, who tried to recruit students to the group of the local department, started to cry, and the campus police eventually took her home.

An attached photo of the incident shows that They are making an obscene hand gesture while holding a sign that said: “Just say NO! the Neo-Fascism.” Lawton was fired in November. Gailey, associate professor of English, was photographed with a sign that said: “Turning Point: please put me on your watchlist.”

The republican Governor of Nebraska Pete Ricketts speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland, USA February 24, 2017.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Admiralships in the Nebraska Navy, a lighthearted often award is granted to people who retire, change jobs, or have reached a milestone in their life.

The eea is a joking reference to the fact that Nebraska is the nation’s only triple-landlocked country and has no navy or the sea to defend. Admiralships be awarded to the governor’s discretion and may only be given if the candidate or the counter is a Nebraska resident.

Ricketts spokesman Taylor Gage said Lawton and Gailey were disqualified because of the recent controversy and Lawton’s behavior. In a letter to Jay Grabow, Omaha man who nominated Gailey and Lawton, Ricketts, said the admiralships are issued as a thank you for special occasions, and that the women they were due to an ‘administrative error’.

In his nomination letters, Grabow said Gailey, and Lawton both deserve the honor because of their advocacy for free speech.

Gage said the governor routinely complies with requests for admiralships for the residents of all political stripes, including the state senators from both parties.

“Courtney Lawton’ s behavior does not embody ‘Nebraska values, for which the original application represented,” he said.

The awards were withdrawn on a day after a legislative hearing on a campus of the free speech bill that was inspired by the university incident. Gailey and Grabow testified against the measure, which would require Nebraska universities and colleges to develop campus of the free speech guidelines.

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