Sinn v. The Daily Nebraskan

In September 1984, Pam Pearn wanted to place two advertisements in the student newspaper at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Daily Nebraskan, seeking a roommate. The requested ads would have stated Pearn’s sexual orientation. Similarly, Michael Sinn wanted to seek a roommate with an advertisement that disclosed his sexual orientation. Student editors rejected all three advertisements as being in violation of their advertising policy. Pearn and Sinn sued the newspaper alleging that the refusal to run their ads was a violation of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. In June 1986, the district court ruled in favor of the newspaper. Rejection of an advertisement is part of a constitutionally protected editorial decision, and newspaper editors are not state actors. In September 1987, the Eighth Circuit court affirmed the decision.