Kincaid v. Gibson

236 F.3d 342 (6th Cir. 2001)

In 1994, university officials at Kentucky State University confiscated the student yearbook, The Thorobred, after being allegedly upset with the yearbook’s “quality.” The university also initiated the administrative transfer of the student newspaper’s adviser to a secretarial position after she refused to censor material critical of the university from the newspaper. Two students filed suit, claiming the university violated their First Amendment rights. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky granted dismissed the case, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, and a panel of the Court of Appeals affirmed, but the case was granted a rehearing en banc. The en banc panel of Court of Appeals held that: (1) the yearbook was a limited public forum for First Amendment Purposes; (2) university officials did not impose reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions by confiscating all copies of the yearbook; (3) Hazelwood did not apply; and (4) school officials violated the First Amendment by confiscating copies of the yearbook, even if the yearbook was not considered a public forum.