Supreme Court refuses to hear paper's appeal

PENNSYLVANIA -- The U.S. Supreme Court declined in January to hear a college student newspaper's appeal of a state law banning alcohol ads in college publications.

Now the case is headed back to a federal district court for a full hearing.

The 1996 law prohibits businesses from advertising alcohol in publications produced "by, for, or in behalf of any education institution."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled last year that The Pitt News' monetary loss -- approximately $17,000 of lost ad revenue -- did not constitute a violation of the First Amendment.

The newspaper had argued the loss forced it to print shorter issues and thus publish less news, but the court disagreed, saying the loss "amounts to nothing more than an incidental economic effect of a regulation aimed at closely regulated third parties."

reports, Spring 2001