People 9, KSU 0

The state of Georgia and Kennesaw State University suffered a humiliating defeat Monday at the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices ruled unanimously that Georgia could not ask to have a lawsuit transferred from a state court to a federal court, and then claim immunity under the 11th Amendment.

Georgia's strategy was, in effect, a Catch-22 for citizens who sued officials in state court. But by voluntarily asking that the case be removed to federal court, the justices rule that Georgia had waived its immunity. The court stated Georgia officials sought to "achieve unfair tactical advantages" by their scheme.

The case involves a lawsuit filed against Kennesaw State University by business professor Paul Lapides, who claims the school has besmirched his reputation by placing unproven allegations of sexual harassment in his files. Lapides, who is Jewish, also claims KSU's actions are more of a long succession of anti-Semitic actions by officials at the college.

"It feels great," says Emory law professor David Bederman, Lapides' attorney. "It's a big victory for Paul and, in principle, for all citizens who would sue the state."??

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