Surprising. I just read in a legal essay discussing the evolution of the due process law in college student disciplinary cases that the US Supreme Court has never heard a case involving College Student Discipline. Lower appeal courts have addressed these issues on a few occasions, but never the highest court.
This is surprising because the issues in college student disciplinary cases involve broad Constitutional questions and ideas like “due process.” Such import overarching policies and interpretations should be determined universally and by our highest court. Not left to differing opinions by various judges around the country and certainly not left up to the Universities and Colleges themselves.
For example, what constitutes due process – or a fair procedure – in criminal cases has been litigated before the Supreme Court since its inception and the law in this area is very clear. It is clear that an accused has the right to an attorney every step of the way; the right to remain silent; protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Such clarity gives our citizens safety and protection when faced with Government prosecution. Why are college students not given the same rights in a disciplinary case?