Papish v. Board of Curators

410 U.S. 667 (1973)

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Papish v. Board of Curators

United States Supreme Court
410 U.S. 667 (1973)

Facts

Barbara Papish (plaintiff) was a journalism graduate student at the University of Missouri. The University’s Board of Curators (defendant) had a bylaw that required university students to observe accepted standards of conduct, including refraining from engaging in indecent conduct or speech. Papish was expelled after a student-conduct committee found that Papish had violated the bylaw by distributing on campus a newspaper that contained indecent speech. Specifically, the newspaper (1) featured a political cartoon of policemen raping the Statue of Liberty and the Goddess of Justice with the caption “. . . With Liberty and Justice for All” and (2) contained an article that used the word “motherfucker” in the article’s title and text. Papish challenged her expulsion in federal district court, claiming that her activities were protected by the First Amendment. The district court and appellate court denied relief, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)

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