|Tossing Newspaper Here to "Clean Up" Campus|
It simply wasn't believable that Oregon State University's President and three other senior officials ordered trashed--threw out---a conservative student newspaper AND all of their containers to "clean up" the campus leaving behind the other student newspaper bins.
Judge A. Wallace Tashima said,
" We have little trouble finding
The policy that OSU enforced against plaintiffs, however,
was not merely unwritten. It was also unannounced and
had no history of enforcement. It materialized like a bolt out
of the blue to smite the Liberty’s, but not the Daily
This decision overturns a US District Court 2010 ruling which said The Liberty's attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom didn't prove the trashing of papers was due to content.Barometer’s, newsbins onto the trash heap. The policy created no standards to cabin discretion through content or history of enforcement, and it set no fixed standard for a distinction between the Barometer and the Liberty. The policy’s enforcement against plaintiffs therefore violated the First Amendment."
In yesterday's decision, Judge Tashima cited City of Lakewood v.“Universities should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” said Legal Counsel Heather Gebelin Hacker. “Students don’t deserve censorship for having viewpoints that university officials don’t happen to favor. The argument that the independent student paper’s bins were confiscated to ‘clean up’ the campus under an unwritten policy was simply not believable. No notice was given, and none of the bins belonging to the primary campus student newspaper were taken. The 9th Circuit made the right decision in ruling against the university.”
Plain Dealer Publ’g Co. and Honolulu Weekly, Inc. v. Harris, which gives unrestricted rights to publish and requiring there be in writing a policy that restricts where newspaper bins may be placed.
The Liberty has been publishing since 2002 and has been given permission to be on campus since 2005. The bins were trashed during 2008-09 winter quarter and the lawsuit was initially filed against the administration of OSU in 2009 by ADF.