Earlier this afternoon, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit denied Iowa State University’s petition for a rehearing en banc or panel rehearing. The decision leaves in place FIRE’s biggest Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project victory to date.
Just last month, a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit reaffirmed and expanded a February opinion in favor of First Amendment rights on campus. That opinion upheld a January 2016 district court ruling that barred ISU from refusing to allow its chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws use of the school’s logos on T-shirts advocating for marijuana legalization.
FIRE is pleased that the Eighth Circuit will let the panel’s ruling stand, benefiting hundreds of thousands of students across Iowa, Arkansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. ISU has 90 days to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of the United States, or the case will return to the district court for further proceedings in order to determine damages.
We will keep our readers updated on further developments in this important case as they happen.