Jenner & Block

Fourth Circuit Decision on Student Newspaper First Amendment Case Echoes Firm Amicus Brief

The Fourth Circuit recently overturned Virginia’s ban on advertising for alcohol in student newspapers in a ruling that echoes argumentsraised in a firm amicus brief filed in the matter.  The seven-year legal battle focused on the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board’s regulation that prohibited student newspapers from publishing advertisements for alcoholic beverages except in restaurants.  In December, a Jenner & Block team including Partners Katherine A. Fallow and Carrie F. Apfel filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Student Press Law Center and College Newspapers Business and Advertising Managers Inc.  Among other points, the firm’s brief argued that the Virginia regulation runs counter to the U.S. Supreme Court precedent set in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc. (2011) and the Third Circuit’s striking down of a nearly identical ban in Pitt News v. Pappert (2004).  Decided on September 25, 2013, the Fourth Circuit’s ruling in Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech, Inc., et al., vs. J. Neal Insley, et al. refers to both of those decisions.  The decision was reported in several media outlets including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, The Roanoke Timesand The Washington Post.