NEW YORK — A federal court sidestepped a ruling in March on whether a student newspaper can endorse candidates in student government elections by dismissing a case involving the City College of New York on the grounds it was no longer relevant.
The lawsuit was filed in 1998 by the editor of a student newspaper at the public college and two student government representatives against the school’s then-president. The students claimed their First Amendment rights were violated when college President Yolanda Moses nullified student government election results because she claimed the newspaper’s election coverage “unfairly favored a slate of candidates.”
Federal District Court Judge Thomas Griesa dismissed the lawsuit because it had been six years since it had been filed, and because Moses no longer held her position.
Ron McGuire, the students’ lawyer, said the decision could not yet be appealed because another part of the case is still pending. That part of the case focuses on the school’s alleged decision to conduct secret video surveillance of the student representatives and journalists while they were in the schools’ student center.
McGuire said he will appeal the decision as soon as a ruling is made in the other part of the case, or if he receives permission from the court to do so at an earlier date. n
CASE: Sigal v. Moses, Case No. 98-Civ.-3940 (S.D.N.Y. March 31, 2004)