Goss vs. Lopez
Due Date: November 25, 2014
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. Lopez filed suit against the Columbus Board of Education. 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."
Lower Court Verdict The case originated in the Ohio Southern U.S. District Court, which ruled in a liberal direction and involved an Ohio State Agency. Following the judgment of that court, it was appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court for review.
Petition Before the Supreme Court Plaintiff (Lopez): Lopez and nine other students were suspended from their schools for 10 days without hearings and therefore violated their due process provided by the Fourteenth Amendment. Students should be notified of the rules they are accused of violating, should receive a hearing, have the right to confront their accusers, and have a chance to tell their side of the story. Defense (Goss): The state allowed for the suspension of a student without hearing. The school and its administrators cannot give a hearing prior to suspension because of the lack of time. Finally, school administrators, not judges, must be the ones who decide how to operate the schools.
Relief Sought In plain English the plaintiff wants to have a hearing any and every time a student is suspended so the student may tell their side of the story because a 10 day suspension is serious for a student.
Majority Decision The court ruled in favor of Lopez 5-4. Justice Byron White wrote the majority opinion for the 5–4 decision, in which the Court