GSU student journalists will appeal 7th Circuit ruling to U.S. Supreme Court

ILLINOIS — The students involved in the Hosty v. Carter case of college censorship will appeal yesterday’s U.S. Court of Appeals ruling and take their case to the Supreme Court, plaintiff Margaret Hosty said in a statement today.

Yesterday an en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in a 7-4 decision, reversed a lower court’s ruling and allowed the students’ claim of a First Amendment violation to be dismissed.

The three student journalists at Governors State University, Margaret Hosty, Jeni Porche and Steven Barba, sued the school in 2001, claiming Dean Patricia Carter told their printer in the fall of 2000 not to print the paper until a school official had approved the contents.

Hosty said in a statement she was disappointed with the court’s decision.

“Understandably, I am dismayed by the court’s opinion, and find it troubling and grossly flawed,” Hosty said. “It demonstrates a considerably deficient comprehension on the part of the majority of the appellate judges of the allegations, university policy, deposed statements, material documents, and timeline of events evidenced by said items, which might be why the court reached such an erroneous decision.”

“My co-plaintiffs and I are resolved to appeal to the nation’s highest court,” Hosty said.

Under Supreme Court rules, the students have 90 days to petition the Court to consider the case. The Courty typically agrees to hear only a small percentage of the cases presented to it. If the Court refuses to hear the case, the Seventh Circuit decision will stand.

Read the SPLC press release on the court’s ruling

Read the decision: Hosty v. Carter, No. 01-4155 (7th Cir. June. 20, 2005).

For background on the case, including copies of the briefs filed, recordings of the oral arguments and links to news stories, go to the SPLC’s Hosty v. Carter information page.Read previous coverage