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Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of the University of Virginia

United States Supreme Court
515 U.S. 819 (1995)


Facts

The Rector & Visitors of the University of Virginia (UV) (defendant) authorizes the payment of outside contractors for the printing costs of a variety of student publications. Ronald Rosenberger (plaintiff), a student at the University of Virginia, asked UV for $5,800 from a student activities fund to subsidize a student publication entitled “Wide Awake: A Christian Perspective at the University of Virginia.” The funding request was denied for the sole reason that Rosenberger’s student paper promoted a particular religious belief. Rosenberger challenged the funding denial in federal district court as a violation of the Free Speech Clause and the Establishment Clause where summary judgment was granted to UV. This was affirmed by the circuit court which concluded that although there was viewpoint-based discrimination, UV was justified under the Establishment Clause.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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