GOSS v. LOPEZ

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
73-898
Appellee 
Lopez
Appellant 
Goss
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Nine students at two high schools and one junior high school in Columbus, Ohio, were given 10-day suspensions from school. The school principals did not hold hearings for the affected students before ordering the suspensions, and Ohio law did not require them to do so. The principals' actions were challenged, and a federal court found that the students' rights had been violated. The case was then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Question 

Did the imposition of the suspensions without preliminary hearings violate the students' Due Process rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for Lopez, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Due Process

Yes. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Court held that because Ohio had chosen to extend the right to an education to its citizens, it could not withdraw that right "on grounds of misconduct absent fundamentally fair procedures to determine whether the misconduct ha[d] occurred." The Court held that Ohio was constrained to recognize students' entitlements to education as property interests protected by the Due Process Clause that could not be taken away without minimum procedures required by the Clause. The Court found that students facing suspension should at a minimum be given notice and afforded some kind of hearing.

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GOSS v. LOPEZ. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1974/1974_73_898>.
GOSS v. LOPEZ, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1974/1974_73_898 (last visited November 25, 2014).
"GOSS v. LOPEZ," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1974/1974_73_898.