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Appeals Court Overturns Decision to Reinstate Expelled U of L Nursing Student

The decision to reinstate a University of Louisville nursing student who was expelled over her blog posts has been overturned.

Nina Yoder was expelled from U of L in 2009 after posts she’d written about her coursework were found online. That year, U.S. District Judge Charles Simpson ruled that the school violated a contract with Yoder, who was then reinstated and has since graduated.

A federal appeals court has ruled that Simpson’s decision was improper because the case was a free speech issue, not a contract violation. Simpson will now be asked to rule in the case based on those grounds. Yoder’s attorney Dan Canon* says the overturning is not a defeat. He agrees that the case is not a contract dispute. The categories for damages are different under contract cases than they are under constitutional cases, and Canon says once Judge Simpson rules in the case again, Yoder’s attorneys will likely ask for a jury trial to determine any damages.

*Disclosure: Canon and I are friends.