Last Class, Monday 4/28


Hello Everyone!  By popular vote, the class has decided to meet as scheduled on Monday 4/28 for an in-person, end-of-semester Q&A session.  Take a look at the Final Exam Study guide, and be prepared with any questions.  You can also reach me via email, up until our final exam on Monday May 5th.



Hello Everyone!  Next week is our final, full week of class.  We will be discussing communication laws related to obscenity and indecency.  Please read Hopkins chapter 5 and Lisby chapter 7.  Additionally, please be prepared to present the following cases in class:


U.S. v. One Book Called “Ulysses”

American Booksellers v. Hudnut (1985)

Queen v. Hicklin (1868) (AKA Regina vs. Hicklin)

Roth v. U.S./Alberts v. California

Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964)

Ginzburg v. U.S. (1966)

Ginsberg v. New York (1968)

Stanley v. Georgia (1969)

Osborne v. Ohio (1990)

Miller v. California (1973)**

Jenkins v. Georgia (1974)

K. Gordon Murray Productions v. Floyd (1962)

Corinth Publications v. Wesberry (1967)

This That & the Other Gift v. Cobb County (2006) 


FCC v. Pacifica Foundation (1978)

NEA v. Finley (1997)

Cohen v. California (1971)

Erznoznik v. Jacksonville (1975)

FCC v. Fox TV (2012)

I will be giving your graded Term Paper #2 assignment back on Wednesday.  See you in class Monday.  Have a great weekend!

[Update:  I have also graded all extra credit assignments submitted as of today 4/18]

For Next Week:

Hello Everyone!  On Monday (4/14), Term Paper #2 is due.  We will finish our discussion on Reporter’s Privilege, and also talk about Open Records/Meetings.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you printing out the PowerPoint notes beforehand, as the Open Records/Open Meetings material has a lot of listed exemptions.  Seriously, a lot.  Please read Hopkins chapter 17 and Lisby chapter 8.  In addition, please be prepared to present the following cases in class:

[Reporter’s Privilege Cases]

Plunkett v. Hamilton (1911)

Branzburg v. Hayes (1972)

Vaughn v. Georgia (1988)

Howard v. Savannah College of Art & Design (1989)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution v. Jewell (2001)

[Georgia Open Records/Meetings Cases]

Napper v. Georgia Television Co. (1987) 

Harris v. Cox Enterprises (1986) 

Macon Telegraph Publishing Co. v. Board of Regents (1986) 

Red & Black Publishing Co. v. Board of Regents (1993) 

On Wednesday (4/16), we will have a guest speaker to talk about how journalists in the field deal with media access to courts, access to government meetings, and other public records requests.  I will end class early on Wednesday for the GSU event featuring Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stevens.  Any questions?  I will be checking e-mail throughout the weekend.

LEGAL NEWS: Coalition for Court Transparency Calling for Cameras in U.S. Supreme Court

The Coalition for Court Transparency, which includes the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, marked the 50th anniversary of the momentous press freedom case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan by sending a letter to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts urging him to take another historic action on behalf of press freedom by allowing for video broadcast of hearings at the High Court.

“This Court has long supported the First Amendment presumption that court proceedings should be open to the public,” the letter states. “Greater openness” – such as broadcasting oral arguments – “fosters confidence in the judicial system and encourages dialogue about public issues.”

Further, the coalition writes, “Video would serve an important civic benefit, as it would be an incredible platform for legal education and future students of history, rhetoric and political science. As it stands now, only a few hundred individuals can fit into the courtroom at One First Street, so many people hoping to view the arguments are unable to, especially in cases that have broad public interest.”

All 50 state supreme courts have more modern broadcasting guidelines than the U.S. Supreme Court, and the highest courts in a number of democratic nations around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, allow cameras to record their hearings. Justices who preside over courts that allow videotaping and broadcasting report that they have experienced few, if any, instances of grandstanding among the attorneys or their fellow justices – or of journalists using sound bites that do not accurately capture the proceedings.

The letter suggests an interim step before allowing video: the release of same-day audio for all oral arguments. “Providing audio on the day a hearing occurs would increase public understanding of the Court by ensuring that reporters could use it in their stories when news of each argument is still fresh,” the letter states.

The letter concludes with a direct appeal to the Chief Justice regarding the prestige of the High Court: “At a time when faith in our public officials is waning and the American public is increasingly disillusioned with political institutions, you have an opportunity to fill this vacuum of leadership.”

For Next Week’s Classes

Hello Everyone!  On Monday 4/7 we’ll be wrapping up the material on Copyright Law, including our discussion on the GSU Copyright Case.  We’ll also talk about Term Paper #2, due Monday 4/14.  I will be lecturing on The Media and the Criminal Justice System.  First, we’ll talk about criminal procedure, free press and fair trial.  Please read those sections in Hopkins 16 & 18 and Lisby 5, and be prepared to discuss the following cases:

Sheppard v. Maxwell (1966)

Gannett Co. v. DePasquale (1979)

Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia (1980)

Press-Enterprise v. Superior Court I (1984)

Waller v. Georgia (1984)

Press-Enterprise v. Superior Court II (1986)

Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. v. General Electric Co. (1988)

Craig v. Harney (1947)

Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart (1976)

Zurcher v. Stanford Daily (1978)

Next, (Wednesday and probably next Monday) we’ll finish up this section by talking about Reporter’s Privilege.  Please read those particular sections in Hopkins 15, 16 & 18 and Lisby 6, and also, be prepared to discuss the following cases in class:

Plunkett v. Hamilton (1911)

Branzburg v. Hayes (1972)

Vaughn v. Georgia (1988)

Howard v. Savannah College of Art & Design (1989)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution v. Jewell (2001)

Please let me know if you have any questions – on the lecture materials, Term Paper #2, extra credit assignments, or the guest lecturers the following week.  See you in class!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Retired Supreme Court Justice Lecturing at GSU

***Those interested in attending this event MUST RSVP with Vicki Dye at 404-413-9024 by Wednesday, April 2nd***

Retired Associate Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court of the United States will deliver the 53rd Henry J. Miller Distinguished Lecture on the Georgia State University campus at 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 16 in the Student Center House & State Senate salons.  The event is free and open to the public. Business attire and reservations are required. R.S.V.P to Vicki Dye at 404-413-9024, by Wednesday, April 2.
Business attire required.  Due to security at this event – NO backpacks, oversized bags, computers, food or beverages will be allowed inside the ballroom.