Full 7th Circuit to hear college-press case

By The Associated Press
06.26.03

CHICAGO — A federal appeals court has agreed to rehear arguments in a lawsuit over censorship at the student newspaper at Governors State University.

Three collegiate journalists filed the federal lawsuit after the university’s dean of student affairs tried in 2000 to prevent the newspaper from being published until its contents had been reviewed.

A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April blocked the university’s attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed. However, the appellate court yesterday granted a request for a new hearing made by Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Madigan, who is representing the school, asked for a hearing before the full appeals court. No date was set for the new hearing.

The lawsuit was filed by former student editors, Margaret Hosty and Jeni Porche, and former campus writer, Steven P. Barba after the university’s dean of student affairs, Patricia Carter, insisted on reviewing the paper before publication.

At the center of the legal dispute is the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1988 ruling in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, which placed limits on the free-speech rights of high-school editors, and whether that ruling applies to college editors.

The state has argued that university administrators were within their rights to exercise control over the paper.

Governors State University is located in University Park, which is roughly 30 miles south of Chicago.

The case is Hosty v. Carter.