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Papish v. Board of Curators of the University of Missouri

Papish v. Board of Curators of the University of Missouri (1973) was the first case from the U.S. Supreme Court to address student press on campus. At issue in Papish was whether university officials could expel a graduate student for distributing a newspaper on campus because they disapproved of its content. Given the significant implications of Papish for the First Amendment rights of students in colleges and universities and the extent to which institutional officials can limit speech that may be perceived as offensive, this entry reviews its background and judicial analysis.

Facts of the Case

Barbara Papish, a 32-year-old graduate student majoring in journalism at the University of Missouri, was expelled for distributing an issue of the Free Press Underground newspaper, published by the nonprofit Columbia ...

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