Board of Regents v. Roth

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In Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564 (1972), a 5-3 U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Section 1983 claim by a professor based on a state university's refusal to rehire him. The Court stated that:

The State, in declining to rehire the respondent, did not make any charge against him that might seriously damage his standing and associations in his community. It did not base the non-renewal of his contract on a charge, for example, that he had been guilty of dishonesty, or immorality. Had it done so, this would be a different case. For "where a person's good name, reputation, honor, or integrity is at stake because of what the government is doing to him, notice and an opportunity to be heard are essential." Wisconsin v. Constantineau, 400 U.S. 433, 437. Wieman v. Updegraff, 344 U.S. 183, 191; Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath, 341 U.S. 123; United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303, 316-317; Peters v. Hobby, 349 U.S. 331, 352 (DOUGLAS, J., concurring). See Cafeteria Workers v. McElroy, 367 U.S. 886, 898. In such a case, due process would accord an opportunity to refute the charge before University officials. In the present case, however, there is no suggestion whatever that the respondent's "good name, reputation, honor, or integrity" is at stake.

Justice Potter Stewart delivered the opinion of the court, joined by Justices Warren Burger, Byron White, Harry Blackmun, and William Rehnquist. Justice Burger filed a concurring opinion. Justices William Brennan (joined by Justice William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, and Douglas filed dissenting opinions. Justice Lewis Powell took no part in the decision of the case.

External Links

  • Case at FindLaw (registration may be required)
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