Appeals court votes to rehear Kentucky State Univ. censorship case

CINCINNATI — The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appealsvoted yesterday to grant a rehearing before a full panel of appellatejudges in the Kentucky State University yearbook and newspapercensorship case.

The vote follows a request by the student plaintiffs in thecase that the full court rehear a Sept. 8 decision by a three-judgepanel upholding the confiscation and censorship of approximately2,000 copies of the 1993-94 edition of the Kentucky State Universitystudent yearbook, The Thorobred, by school officials. Theissues remain locked away in a KSU storage room. In its Sept.8 ruling, the court also threw out the student plaintiffs’ claimthat KSU officials had acted illegally when they transferred thestudent publications’ adviser to a secretarial position aftershe refused to censor a letter to the editor from the studentnewspaper critical of school administrators.

In reaching its earlier decision, the judges had relied ona 1988 U.S. Supreme Court case, Hazelwood School District v.Kuhlmeier, which upheld the censorship of a high school newspaper.This case, Kincaid v. Gibson, marked the first time thatthe high school-based Hazelwood standard had been usedby a federal appellate court to uphold the censorship of collegestudent media.

According to the clerk’s office, the court’s Sept. 8 opinionwas vacated pending the rehearing.

No dates have yet to be established for briefing or oral arguments.

For more information on the case see the Kincaid v. Gibsonpage on our Web site at: