RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court says a ban on newspaper racks in a North Carolina airport's terminals is unconstitutional.
A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 March 12 that the government interests asserted to justify the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority's ban are overridden by the First Amendment.
The ruling is a victory for The News & Observer of Raleigh, The Herald-Sun of Durham, The New York Times and USA Today. Their attempts to place news racks in the terminals were rebuffed by the airport authority, which cited security and other concerns.
The court said newspaper racks have no more potential as hiding places for bombs than other terminal fixtures, such as trash cans and restrooms.