Archive for September, 2005

Political regulation

by   |  09.22.05  |  Current Events

We’ve already learned that Congress passed and the President signed legislation that restricted political speech and it was upheld by the Supreme Court nearly two years ago. More »

Can you teach the Bible in public school?

by   |  09.22.05  |  Current Events

The makers of this textbook say yes. Read the story at CNN.

The Trouble with TiVo

by   |  09.22.05  |  Current Events

We’ll get into copyright later in the semester, but the issue is at the forefront now as some people worry that Hollywood could exercise an ability to delete shows after a certain period of time. Certainly violates the spirit of the Sony v. Betamax case, from my perspective. More »

A Nomination Prediction

by   |  09.21.05  |  Current Events

As a professor, I typically reserve my opinions on political matters. If students in my classes know what I believe, I need to do my job better. Likewise, I usually don’t make predictions about the political processes. But here are two exceptions. More »

Hold off on replacing O’Connor: Specter

by   |  09.21.05  |  Current Events

Sen. Arlen Specter, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is suggesting President Bush delay nominating a replacement for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. More »

Freedom of the Press in School

by   |  09.21.05  |  Current Events

We did not spend much time on school free press issues in the first section of Comm Law, primarily because the general rule for speech in high schools applies to high school press as well: speech can be censored if it interferes with the pedagogical aims of the institution. See page 94 of Pember for the discussion.

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier
, 484 U.S. 260 (1988), is the seminal case that said a principal at a school-sponsored newspaper has the right to exercise control over student newspaper stories. The stories he spiked were about teenage pregnancy and divorce.

Hazelwood did not address what control state universities have over student publications, but Hosty v. Carter may. The case involves student editors of The Innovator at Governor’s State University in Illinois who sued after the paper was shut down by administrators over content. In 2003 a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Hazelwood does not apply to college student publications because of the difference in age and function of publications on college campuses. See page 96-98 in Pember. More »

Sheehan speech cut short

by   |  09.20.05  |  Current Events

A speech by anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan was stopped by police after it was determined organizers had no permit for a loudspeaker. More »

Congratulations to the Isoms

by   |  09.15.05  |  Current Events

Congratulations to the parents of Comm Law student Jordan Isom, John and Jean Isom, for their selection as ACU’s Parents of the Year for 2005-2006. The Isoms, 1975 graduates, will be honored in Chapel at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30. Ms. Isom teaches in the Sociology Department. More »

Newdow is back

by   |  09.15.05  |  Current Events

A San Francisco judge has ruled that the “under God,” in the Pledge of Allegiance since 1954, is unconstitutional. Michael Newdow’s first case made it to the Supreme Court last year and was rejected because Newdow did not have custody of his daughter.

I have heard some on television report that the judge yesterday ruled it’s unconstitutional to force students to say the pledge. That’s patently false. It’s been held to be unconstitutional to force students to say the pledge since 1943, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624. A Jehovah’s Witness family filed suit challenging the constitutionality of a mandatory pledge and won at the Supreme Court, more than a decade before “under God” was added. More »

Tar-Heel columnist out over Arab comments

by   |  09.15.05  |  Current Events

This story about a woman fired for writing her opinion about Arabs in a Daily Tar-Heel column is reminicent of exam question no. 2 in Comm Law. More »