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ERIC Number: ED407893
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
What the Rosenberger Decision Means.
Lassner, Lee M.
The United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision in the Rosenberger case, ruled that the University of Virginia had violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution by refusing to subsidize a Christian student publication. The magazine, "Wide Awake," was published by a student organization that was recognized by the University as a "contracted independent organization." There were three fundamental issues considered: (1) the use of student fees; (2) the religious establishment clause of the First Amendment; and (3) the free speech clause of the First Amendment. The Court ruled that financing the magazine from student activity fees did not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Courts have previously ruled that while the right of institutions has been upheld to maintain mandatory fees, these must be used to provide a forum of varying ideas and not one political or ideological stance. In Widmar v. Vincent, the Supreme Court had previously upheld a lower court ruling that students' religious activities were protected by the free speech clause of the First Amendment. Therefore, while higher education institutions may require student activity fees, they must be utilized to enhance, not hinder, the exercise of free speech and religion. (JLS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A