Acker granted summary judgment for the University of Alabama Board of Trustees and various individual UAB defendants, even though he had allowed no discovery. I showed that Acker's ruling could not be made under the law because a non-moving party (me, in this case) must be given an opportunity to collect evidence through the discovery process in order to counter the summary-judgment motion.
A transcript of a hearing in the case shows that Acker said he was going to treat a UAB motion as one for summary judgment and that he would have to give me an opportunity to conduct discovery before making any ruling. That hearing was on December 10, 2010, but less than two months later--on January 28, 2011--Acker granted summary judgment, effectively dismissing my case.
An appeal is pending before the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, and Acker's finding will have to be overturned on multiple grounds--assuming the actual law is applied. But for now, the stunning point is this: We have a public document that proves a federal judge knowingly ruled contrary to law in a case before him. It involves federal issues (free speech, age/gender discrimination), plus a state-law issue (defamation)--not to mention the fact that my livelihood is on the line.
Even if you don't give a rip about my well being, these are matters of profound importance--and everyone's tax dollars support a federal court that is supposed to ensure that fundamental constitutional rights are protected. And yet, we have proof that a federal judge is treating the entire proceeding as an exercise in theater of the absurd.
How do we know that? Well, you can follow along with me on a brief road trip through a 29-page transcript that should shock the conscience of anyone who believes in democratic principles. (The full transcript can be read at the end of this post.)
The transcript is filled with inanities from beginning to end, showing that the 84-year-old Acker isn't fit to manage a corner lemonade stand, much less a federal courtroom. But we will focus on just a few items.