My Space or Theirs? Trying to Reconcile the Messy Judicial Doctrine for Off-Campus Student Expression

S.U. L. Rev., Forthcoming 2012

33 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2012 Last revised: 7 Jul 2012

See all articles by Ryan C. Tuck

Ryan C. Tuck

University of Georgia School of Law

Date Written: May 24, 2012

Abstract

The Supreme Court's student expression jurisprudence is notoriously muddled, but regarding one major question, the Court basically has remained silent: whether and when schools can regulate student expression that originates physically beyond the campus and lacks any indicia of school sponsorship. The Court has included some suggestive language in its four landmark student expression cases, including its most recent decision in 2007, but the Court never has resolved this issue. And in denying a pair of petitions for certiorari this year, the Court appears unlikely to do so anytime soon. (The Court denied a similar petition the previous term). This uncertainty has tripped up lower courts, and school officials and students grappling with the law on a daily basis. Looking to just the recent petitions for certiorari, this Article identifies four significant circuit splits regarding the off-campus student expression issue. Because this doctrinal morass presents a very real potential to chill student speech, this Article attempts to clarify the law student practitioners in this area must face. In addition, this Article gleans from the current doctrine tips that should help students to avoid administrator – and judicial – cross hairs.

Keywords: circuit split, student expression

Suggested Citation

Tuck, Ryan C., My Space or Theirs? Trying to Reconcile the Messy Judicial Doctrine for Off-Campus Student Expression (May 24, 2012). S.U. L. Rev., Forthcoming 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2066092 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2066092

Ryan C. Tuck (Contact Author)

University of Georgia School of Law ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States
910-398-5757 (Phone)

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