NCAC Censorship News Issue #68:


Student Press

A federal district court in Kentucky ruled that the censorship of student
press by high school officials, which was permitted by the Kuhlmeier v. Hazelwood
Supreme Court decision in 1988, allows for censorship of college and university
press as well. At issue was the confiscation of yearbooks at Kentucky State University
and removal of the faculty advisor by administrators critical of the yearbook’s
content. The ruling, Kinkaid v. Gibson, represents a severe threat to college
student press and First Amendment rights and will be appealed by the Kentucky
students. The Student Press Law Center is soliciting support from media and civil
rights groups for the students’ cause. Executive Director Mark Goodman can be
reached in Washington, D.C. at (703) 807-1904.

Military “Honor and Decency”
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the
Defense Department can bar military post exchanges from selling magazines, recordings
and videos that “lasciviously” depict nudity (Censorship News 64). The
decision overturns a Federal District Court decision which held that the law violates
the Constitution’s free speech protections. Court of Appeals Judge Cabranes wrote
for the 2-1 majority that the policy was a reasonable way for the government to
uphold the military’s “values of honor, professionalism and discipline.” The ruling
is expected to be appealed.