Governors State University: Censorship of Student Newspaper
A college administrator at Governors State University in Illinois censored a student newspaper that was highly critical of her administration. The Seventh Circuit chose to apply Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, a Supreme Court decision allowing prior review of certain high school newspapers, to student fee-funded college media. This directly contradicted two other Supreme Court decisions by holding that a student paper or group could potentially be controlled by the university merely because for receiving funding from mandatory student fees that are considered to belong to the student body, not the university. FIRE was disappointed that the Supreme Court refused to hear the case and Greg Lukianoff concluded that, "while FIRE normally accepts courts' interpretations of First Amendment freedoms, we will continue to argue that this case was wrongly decided. Our commitment to freedom requires no less."
- "FIRE Disappointed with Supreme Court’s Refusal to Take ‘Hosty v. Carter’," February 24, 2006: FIRE has issued a statement regarding its disappointment over the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear an appeal of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s opinion in Hosty v. Carter, leaving student newspapers at public universities in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin vulnerable to administrative censorship. FIRE Interim President Greg Lukianoff stated that “Hosty v. Carter is simply the most harmful Court of Appeals decision regarding student freedom of speech in higher education to come down in a generation.”
- "Reply Brief of Petitioners to the Brief in Opposition of Certiorari in Hosty v. Carter, January 17, 2006," January 17, 2006
- "State of Illinois’ Brief in Opposition to Certiorari in Hosty v. Carter, December 22, 2005," December 12, 2005
- "FIRE Files Brief Urging Supreme Court to Hear Student Newspaper Censorship Case," October 19, 2005: On October 19, FIRE filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of Hosty v. Carter, a Seventh Circuit decision that poses a grave threat to student press freedom. FIRE President David French declared, “The Seventh Circuit’s decision in Hosty v. Carter has the potential to destroy freedom of the press on campus.... We hope that the Supreme Court will intervene and undo this potentially disastrous opinion.”
- "FIRE's Supreme Court Certiorari Amicus Brief in Hosty v. Carter, October 19, 2005," October 19, 2005
- "Seventh Circuit Decision Threatens Student Press Freedom," September 19, 2005: FIRE is rallying opposition to Hosty v. Carter, a recent Seventh Circuit decision that could be used to severely restrict student speech. On Friday, the plaintiffs’ attorney filed the formal petition to the United States Supreme Court to reverse the ruling, and today FIRE releases its policy statement condemning the opinion. FIRE also plans to file an amicus brief and is seeking to forge a broad coalition opposing the decision.
- "FIRE Policy Statement on ‘Hosty v. Carter’," September 19, 2005: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s en banc opinion in Hosty v. Carter, No. 01-4155 (7th Cir. June 20, 2005), is a poorly conceived opinion that, if upheld, will do serious harm to freedom of speech on campus far beyond the realm of student media.
- "Petition to the Supreme Court for Certiorari in Hosty v. Carter," September 16, 2005
- "‘Hosty v. Carter,’ June 20, 2005," June 20, 2005
- "Federal Court Upholds Free Press at Governors State University—Amicus Brief "Superb"," April 10, 2003: On April 10, 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld freedom of the press at Governors State University (GSU), in University Park, Illinois. FIRE had joined an amicus brief submitted by the Student Press Law Center urging the Court to vindicate the basic first amendment rights of college students. Judge Terence T. Evans, who wrote the decision, called this brief "superb." This is a crucial victory that undoes an attempt to impose a truly draconian form of censorship on college students and should serve as a warning to any university that seeks to treat their students as children.
- "Amicus Brief in Hosty v. Carter, No. 01-4155, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals," April 10, 2003
- "For free student press, move off campus,"
by Jeffrey M. McCall, The Indianapolis Star, March 18, 2006
- "Supreme Court neglects the right to free student press,"
Royal Purple News (UW-Whitewater), March 8, 2006
- "Ruling could test MSC free press,"
The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction, Colo.), March 6, 2006
- "Student editors react to ‘Hosty’ decision,"
by Ricky Ribeiro, Student Press Law Center, February 28, 2006
- "Court flawed in student paper ruling,"
by Charles Parsons, The Badger Herald (UW-Madison), October 27, 2005
- "In-depth: Words Left Unsaid,"
by Sundeep Malladi, The Badger Herald (UW-Madison), October 27, 2005
- "Three briefs urge Supreme Court to hear ‘Hosty v. Carter’ case,"
by Kim Peterson and Evan Mayor, Student Press Law Center, October 20, 2005
- "Assault on College Press,"
by Harvey Silverglate, The National Law Journal, October 17, 2005
- "College newspapers fight for rights,"
by Erin France, The Daily Tar Heel, September 22, 2005
- "Supreme Court asked to take up college-press case,"
by David L. Hudson, Jr., First Amendment Center, September 20, 2005
- "Wronging student rights,"
by Greg Lukianoff, The Boston Globe, September 3, 2005
- "Free Speech Groups Worry ‘Hosty’ Ruling Will Scale Back Students’ First Amendment Rights,"
by Sean Hill, Student Press Law Center, June 23, 2005
- "Free Press 101,"
by Erich Wasserman, Arbiter Online, December 1, 2003