Jenner & Block

Jenner & Block Files Amicus Brief in Virginia Student Newspaper Advertising Case

Jenner & Block recently filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Student Press Law Center and College Newspapers Business and Advertising Managers, Inc.in the case of Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech, Inc., et al., vs. J. Neal Insley, et al. Submitted on November 28, the brief urges the Fourth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals to invalidate a Virginia ban on advertising for alcohol in college newspapers. The briefnotes that the regulation threatens a significant revenue source for Virginia student newspapers, thereby impairing their ability to “provide excellent, independent journalism.” Further, it argues that the regulation runs counter to recent Supreme Court precedent in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc.

According to the brief, the law center and the business and advertising group are “gravely concerned about the chilling effect that would result” should the appellate court conclude that Virginia may discriminatorily suppress and otherwise burden the speakers in this case and that neither result is tenable.  Rather, the brief urges the Fourth Circuit to find the Virginia regulation unconstitutional, as it imposes a “content-based restriction of speech upon a particular subset of media, and…threatens to limit the ability of collegestudent media to provide a meaningful voice for their community.”  

The Firm’s brief was authored by Partner Katherine A. Fallow and Associates Carrie F. Apfel and Joshua N. Friedman.

Please click here for the full text of the brief.