Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sad Day For College Press Freedoms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to decide whether university administrators can censor campus newspapers by insisting they be approved before publication.

The justices refused to hear an appeal by three students in a case involving the scope of First Amendment free speech protection for college and university newspaper editors and reporters.

(Previously) (t)he appeals court cited a 1988 Supreme Court ruling that public high school officials can censor school newspapers without violating student journalists' constitutional rights. (emphasis mine--Darren)

The appeals court said the 1988 ruling also applied to student newspapers subsidized by public colleges and universities.

The difference here is that high school students are children, whereas college students are adults. The Supremes screwed up again.


Anonymous said...

California is exempt from Hazelwood because the California appellate court case "Leeb v. DeLong" essentially affirmed Section 48907 of the California Ed Code.

1) Hazelwood did not invalidate state laws already in existence that protect free speech. California already had a free speech provision in its ed code (Section 48907).
2) The Leeb v. DeLong case, in which student David Leeb challenged Section 48907's narrow guidelines for censorship in student publications, upheld the validity of the ed code in the face of Hazelwood.
3) While Hazelwood was being decided, the California appellate court postponed its decision on Leeb v. DeLong until after the Supreme Court decided the Hazelwood case. The court then declared that Section 48907 does not violate state or federal law and that Hazelwood has no bearing on 48907. The court's decision states, "If Kuhlmeier were specifically applicable in California, little more would have to be said. But it is not. Section 48907 of the Education Code and California decisional authority clearly confer editorial control of official student publications on the student editors alone, with very limited exceptions."

Darren said...

This is all true, and student publications are safe in California, I still don't see how a case decided about high school student journalism can be thought to be related to college students.