Kincaid v. Gibson

Students challenged confiscation of student yearbook by state university officials upset with the yearbook’s “quality” and the administrative transfer of the student newspaper’s adviser to a secretarial position after she refused to censor material critical of the university from the newspaper. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky granted officials’ motions to dismiss and for summary judgment, citing the U.S. Supreme Courts decision in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. The students appealed. A panel of the Court of Appeals, 191 F.3d 719, affirmed. Petition for hearing en banc was granted. The en banc panel of Court of Appeals held that: (1) yearbook was limited public forum, for First Amendment purposes; (2) university officials did not impose reasonable time, place and manner restriction upon speech in limited public forum by confiscating all copies of yearbook; (3) the Hazlewood case did not apply and (4) officials conduct violated First Amendment, even if yearbook was not considered public forum.

Reversed and remanded.