Students await word on rehearing in Kentucky State University case

A decision is expected by early November on whether a full panel of judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will rehear the Kentucky State University yearbook and newspaper censorship case.

A three-judge panel ruled in September that KSU officials had not violated the First Amendment when they confiscated all copies of the 1993-94 student yearbook, citing the publication’s “poor quality,” and transferred the newspaper adviser to a secretarial position after she refused to censor a letter to the editor critical of the KSU administration.

The student plaintiffs petitioned the full court for a rehearing on Sept. 22.

The case, Kincaid v. Gibson, marks the first time a federal court has ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1988 decision in Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier applied to college student media.