Posted on September 23, 2022

Amy Wax Submits Memorandum for Dismissal of Disciplinary Proceedings, Citing Cancer Treatment

Jared Mitovich, Daily Pennsylvanian, September 19, 2022

Amy Wax’s legal team submitted a memorandum seeking the dismissal of the ongoing University disciplinary proceedings against her on grounds of a “disabled state” from illness.

The 59-page memorandum claims that Wax — the tenured Penn Law School professor who is facing potential punishment for her inflammatory conduct — is undergoing treatment for “life-threatening” cancer, and asks for postponement of the ongoing proceedings until “at least” the end of the year. David Shapiro, Wax’s lawyer, sent the document to Faculty Senate Chair Vivian L. Gadsden, who is overseeing the proceedings, on Aug. 31.

In the memorandum — which was published on conservative website Legal Insurrection — Wax’s lawyers also made numerous additional requests which, if not met, may “force” Wax to file a formal grievance procedure. This procedure serves as a way for faculty to claim that University action taken against them is unreasonable, discriminatory, or non-compliant with school policy.

Among its six requests, the memorandum asked Gadsden to dismiss the current charges against Wax, bar Penn Law Dean Ted Ruger from acting as the charging party, and appoint an “independent forensic expert” to examine Wax’s unsubstantiated claims that Black law students “rarely” perform in the top half of their class.

“The substantive and procedural problems with the proceedings instituted by Dean Ruger are immense and require immediate rectification before any more harm is done to the University, the Law School, Professor Wax, and other University stakeholders,” the memorandum reads.


Wax — a self-described “race realist” who has a years-long history of stirring national controversy by making racist, xenophobic, and homophobic remarks on podcasts and national television — is under a faculty investigation that Ruger initiated in January.

In adherence to the formal University procedure for seeking disciplinary action against tenured faculty, Ruger has charged Wax with violating University standards and has recommended that the Faculty Senate impose a “major sanction” against her, which could result in the professor being stripped of her tenure protection, or fired.

The memorandum from Wax’s lawyers claims that during the proceedings, Ruger has refused to provide medical accommodation to Wax throughout her cancer treatment under the Americans with Disabilities Act. {snip}

The memorandum also claims additional procedural, legal, and ethical issues with the current proceedings against Wax, arguing that the current charges should be dismissed.

It asked the University to publicize data and information substantiating the charges that Ruger outlined in his June report to the Faculty Senate, where he accused Wax of repeated “racist” conduct — such as hosting “renowned white supremacist” Jared Taylor in her seminar LAW 956: “Conservative Political and Legal Thought” in November 2021.

The memorandum reiterated many of Wax’s previous counterarguments, including that Penn Law consented to Wax’s request for permission for Taylor to speak in the class and that the school reimbursed the lunch at White Dog Café where Taylor spoke with students.


Wax has started a fundraising campaign for her legal defense against the University and has raised over $180,000 so far on GoFundMe.