Virginia Court Rules for Alcohol Ads in College Papers

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By: E&P Staff

In a ruling Thursday, the U.S. District Court for Eastern Virginia in Richmond said that it was unconstitutional to ban “alcohol-related” advertisements in college publications. The ruling is expected to give student editors more power in deciding what does and does not go into their newspapers.

In an 11-page permanent injunction, Magistrate M. Hannah Lauck restated her initial ruling, made on March 31, which said that two regulations enforced by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (Virginia ABC) — which prevented the printing and selling of alcohol-related advertisements — violated the First Amendment.

The suit had originally been brought by Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech Inc., the parent company of the Collegiate Times, the independent, student-run Virginia Tech paper. They were joined in the suit by The Cavalier Daily, the student newspaper at the University of Virginia. “Educational Media is glad to have the ruling upheld and enforced,” said Kelly Wolff, general manager of that company, to the Collegiate Times.

The Virginia ABC had appealed the March 31 ruling, meaning that the college publishers still could not sell or print alcohol advertising. Magistrate Lauck issued today’s permanent injunction in response to that appeal.

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