First Amendment coalition will argue against censorship before federal appeals court

Attorneys for the Student Press Law Center and other FirstAmendment advocates will be defending college free press rights before a panelof federal judges, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicagoruled Sept. 24.

The court granted a motion allowing attorneys for acoalition of 25 state and national media organizations, university journalismschools and civil rights groups to present oral arguments in support of collegepress freedom in the case of Hosty v. Carter involving censorship of theInnovator student newspaper at Governors State University in Illinois.The coalition filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case inAugust.

Student journalists sued the school after Dean Patricia Cartertold the newspaper’s printer to hold future issues until a school officialhad approved its contents.

The case has generated national attention inpart because of the controversial argument made before the appeals court by thestate attorney general in defending the school’s right to censor the studentnewspaper. Illinois Attorney General James Ryan, the Republican candidate forgovernor, asked the appeals court to extend the Supreme Court’s 1988Hazelwood decision, which limited First Amendment protections for highschool students, to public college student expression.

Attorney RichardGoehler of the Cincinnati law firm Frost Brown Todd filed the brief on behalf ofthe coalition and will be arguing before the court on its behalf.

“Thisappeal presents some very important issues involving the First Amendment rightsof college journalists,” said Goehler. “We look forward to the hearing.”

Thecourt has not yet set a date for oral arguments in the Hosty case, butthe SPLC expects it will be heard later this year.