Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Drink Up: Magistrate Judge Rules That Virginia May Not Limit College Newspaper Ads Referring To Alcohol

A magistrate judge has ruled that two Virginia administrative code provisions limiting or banning the language pertaining to alcohol ads in college newspapers violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Cavalier Daily, the student newspaper at Virginia Tech, assisted by the ACLU, had challenged the enforcement of the provisions, which regulated such phrases as the use of the term "Happy Hour" (prohibited) and use of the term "Polynesian Drinks" (permitted in certain cases). After finding that the plaintiffs had standing to bring the suit, Judge Hannah Lauck applied the Central Hudson test to find that the provisions of the VAC could not stand up to the protections of the First Amendment. Read the entire opinion here. Here's more on the background of the suit from the Collegiate Times. Here's a link to a related case from the Third Circuit, Pitt News v. Pappert, in which now Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion.

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