Art Law Report

“Mattress Performance” Title IX Lawsuit Against Columbia Is Dismissed

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on March 14, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Last May, a former Columbia University student sued the university over the circumstances around Emma Sulkowicz’s widely publicized “Mattress Project,” in which Sulkowicz vowed to carry a mattress around campus so long as the plaintiff, a man named Paul Nungesser whom Sulkowicz had accused of sexual assault, remained on campus. Nungesser’s lawsuit was dismissed on Friday. In addition to the interesting tactical aspects of the case—most prominently Nungesser’s decision to sue Columbia, but not Sulkowicz, who if Nungesser is to be believed has been defaming him—the dismissal is an important result in the growing campus battles over efforts to try to enforce prohibitions against expression or restrict the ability to give offense. In that sense the dismissal is a welcome result.

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Topics: Columbia University, Title IX, Paul Nungesser, First Amendment, The Mattress Performance, Emma Sulkowicz, Establishment Clause

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