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Commentary :: Human Rights : Politics
7th Circuit Greenlights University Censorship
15 Aug 2005
Censorship is not just for high school students anymore. Still reeling from the Supreme Court's 1998 Hazelwood decision [http://teacher.scholastic.com/researchtools/articlearchives/civics/usgov] that severely restricted high school journalists' 1st amendment rights, young journalists--particularly young activist journalists--now have another strike against them in the form of the 7th Circuit Court decision, Hosty v. Carter, covered in this week's Village Voice [http://villagevoice.com/arts/0531,education3,66452,12.html].
Censorship is not just for high school students anymore. Still reeling from the Supreme Court's 1998 Hazelwood decision [http://teacher.scholastic.com/researchtools/articlearchives/civics/usgov] that severely restricted high school journalists' 1st amendment rights, young journalists--particularly young activist journalists--now have another strike against them in the form of the 7th Circuit Court decision, Hosty v. Carter, covered in this week's Village Voice [http://villagevoice.com/arts/0531,education3,66452,12.html].
It seems the grad and undergrad student journalists of the student newspaper, The Innovator, at Governors State University in Illinois ran afoul of Governors' Dean Patricia Carter who didn't like the paper's critical stories about some of the school's more "lackluster professors," stopped a press run of the paper by the school's printer, and furthermore told the printer that she wanted to "review" each issue of the paper BEFORE it went to press.

The students took their campus to court, and while their rights were upheld in district court, the appellate court has now agreed in a 7-4 decision that college administrators have the right to censor campus publications. It's unclear whether there will be any attempt by student advocates to take the case to the Supreme Court.

One assumes this applies primarily to official campus publications using campus resources, and not an independent campus press outlet that raises its own funds and uses its own printers, but even so, the Hosty decision is a grievous blow freedom of speech on campus at precisely the moment in history when it will likely be most needed.

Here is Massachusetts, with our many, many colleges and universities, student activist journalists should be on the lookout for administrators seeking "prior review" of their publications. College students who feel they are targets of campus censorship should contact the Student Press Law Center [http://www.splc.org/newsflash.asp?id=1033], and of course, the former campus journalists at Massachusetts Global Action.
See also:
http://www.massglobalaction.org/blog/serendipity/index.php?/archives/14-7th-Circuit-Greenlights-University-Censorship.html

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Comments

Re: 7th Circuit Greenlights University Censorship
16 Aug 2005
If that is censorship then so is deleting comments at IMC that you don't agree with. Lot's of comments offering contrary view are constantly removed.
Re: 7th Circuit Greenlights University Censorship
16 Aug 2005
wow, i hope they take it to the supreme court. thats absurd, who were the judges?? is it because universities are private, or public or what?

i know the high school kids got screwed because they are monirs-- i had friends in ann arbor who were minorly invovled in something like this, when i was in high school-- interestingly, in that case, when the high school shut down the school newspaper for critisizing the principal, the REPUBLICAN conservative father of one the young journalists had a change of heart. At first he had constantly stated that Rules were to be Obeyed-- but as things went on, he wrote this big letter to the ann arbor news about the importance of free speech and how the school was oppressing its students and all this. . . . . they were all set to go to court about it, and it looked like the students would win. So the Ann Arbor school Board tricked them. Said if they didn't take the schools to court- after all, that would be a drain on much-needed funds- they would come to the table and negotiate a fair agreement. As soon as the students dropped the case to mediate, the school board just banned the paper again, and refused to meet with them. Thats when that conservative dad wrote that letter. . . . . . . at least the situation made HIM see reason. . . . .oy!
Re: 7th Circuit Greenlights University Censorship
18 Aug 2005
You guys should read the decision itself and draw your own conclusions, rather than reading the slanted drivel posted above. The opinionis posted at
http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?caseno=01-4155&submit=showdkt='Hosty%20v.%20Carter'

This decision was based on whether a student newspaper was a "public forum" (like a sidewalk or public park) over which the government must have a compelling interest narrowly tailored to a necessary ends to cenor; or a "private forum" over which the government needs only a rationally related reason to prevent publication.
Re: 7th Circuit Greenlights University Censorship
18 Aug 2005
hey... if kids get used to this on campus now they should have no problem accepting it later on in the wider society in future.. this is what is sometimes referred to as a 'paradigm shift' i.e. rollback, creeping authoritarianism, etc.