CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State University officials say they were "surprised" by a federal appeals court decision to revive a lawsuit filed by supporters of The Liberty, a conservative-leaning student newspaper.
The lawsuit filed in 2009 alleged that university officials arbitrarily restricted the paper's distribution when they confiscated its outdoor bins while leaving those of the official campus newspaper untouched.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week reversed a lower-court ruling to dismiss the complaint, saying it had "little trouble" finding constitutional violations.
University spokesman Steve Clark said Wednesday that officials disagree with many of the plaintiffs' factual characterizations. He says the school is dedicated to free speech and its policy on the location of newspaper boxes was not based on content.
Clark says the university is reviewing its legal options.