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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Board of Regents of State Colleges
David Roth
Facts of the Case 

David Roth was hired under a one-year contract to teach political science at Wisconsin State University-Oshkosh. He was informed that he would not be rehired at the end of his contract. No reasons were given for this decision. Roth brought suit against the university claiming that (1) the real reason for his non-retention was his criticism of the university administration violating his right to free speech protected by the Fourteenth Amendment; and (2) the university's failure to advise him of the reason for its decision violated his right to procedural due process. Roth won on the second claim. It was upheld on appeal.


Does the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment require that a state university provide a one-year contract employee a hearing and reasons when he is not retained after the termination of his contract?

Decision: 5 votes for Board of Regents, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Due Process

In an opinion by Justice Potter Stewart, the court held 5-3 that Roth had no protected interest in continued employment, as he had completed his contracted term, and therefore was no Fourteenth Amendment protection.

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BOARD OF REGENTS v. ROTH. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 30 August 2015. <>.
BOARD OF REGENTS v. ROTH, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 30, 2015).
"BOARD OF REGENTS v. ROTH," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 30, 2015,