Speech rulings can impact media

In 1969, the Supreme Court established in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District that students have the right to freedom of expression at school as long as their expression does not cause "substantial disruption." But when some colleges and universities tried to govern students' rights, those students took the matter to court and, in some cases, prevailed. These cases did not involve the media, but the court rulings may impact student journalism.

Keeping your case alive after graduation

Although graduation day is traditionally a time for celebration and for new beginnings, it can bring an unhappy ending to the legal claims of a student who is challenging school censorship. In general, challenges to school policies must be raised by currently affected students. When a student graduates, a court may dismiss her claims as moot.[1] Several federal appeals courts have agreed.[2] Lane v. Simon, a 2007 case decided by the Tenth Circuit, illustrates how this mootness problem can present serious challenges to student press plaintiffs' ability to secure their First Amendment rights through litigation. But Lane also provided a road map of possible ways to overcome a claim of mootness.