Censorship U.

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You always knew college was different from high school, and not just because you can stay up as late as you want and live on nothing but Cheetos and Sprite. Now a federal appeals court has realized it as well, ruling that laws allowing censorship in high schools can’t be applied at the university level after all.

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A press release from the STUDENT LAW CENTER reports that the distinction wasn’t so clear to Kentucky State University officials when they decided they didn’t like the contents of the 1992-1994 yearbook. Apparently forgetting that college students are largely over 18 and therefore adults, school officials confiscated all copies of the yearbook and locked them in a warehouse, where they sat for the next six years.

The decision was reached by a zigzag path. In 1999 the same court supported censorship of the KSU student newspaper in a related case, then threw out its own ruling and reheard the case. The final decision comes down squarely on the side of the First Amendment, ruling that a public university can engage in neither censorship nor the confiscation of college yearbooks — the latter an act one judge described as “amongst the purest forms of content alteration.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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