We must look not to the weight but to the nature of

Info icon This preview shows pages 149–151. Sign up to view the full content.

proach, the Court held, was inappropriate. “[W]e must look not to the ‘weight’ but to the nature of the interest at stake . . . . We must look to see if the interest is within the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection of liberty and property.” 812 To have a property interest in the constitutional sense, the Court held, it was not enough that one has an abstract need or desire for a benefit or a unilateral ex- pectation. He must rather “have a legitimate claim of entitlement” to the benefit. “Property interests, of course, are not created by the Constitution. Rather, they are created and their dimensions are de- fined by existing rules or understandings that stem from an inde- pendent source such as state law—rules or understandings that se- cure certain benefits and that support claims of entitlement to those benefits.” 813 Consequently, in Board of Regents v. Roth , the Court held that the refusal to renew a teacher’s contract upon expiration of his one- year term implicated no due process values because there was noth- ing in the public university’s contract, regulations, or policies that “created any legitimate claim” to reemployment. 814 By contrast, in 811 397 U.S. at 261–62. See also Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976) (So- cial Security benefits). 812 Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 569–71 (1972). 813 408 U.S. at 577. Although property interests often arise by statute, the Court has also recognized interests established by state case law. Thus, where state court holdings required that private utilities terminate service only for cause (such as non- payment of charges), then a utility is required to follow procedures to resolve dis- putes about payment or the accuracy of charges prior to terminating service. Mem- phis Light, Gas & Water Div. v. Craft, 436 U.S. 1 (1978). 814 436 U.S. at 576–78. The Court also held that no liberty interest was impli- cated, because in declining to rehire Roth the state had not made any charges against him or taken any actions that would damage his reputation or stigmatize him. 436 at 572–75. For an instance of protection accorded a claimant on the basis of such an action, see Codd v. Vegler. See also Bishop v. Wood, 426 U.S. 341, 347–50 (1976); Vitek v. Jones, 445 U.S. 480, 491–94 (1980); Board of Curators v. Horowitz, 435 U.S. 78, 82–84 (1978). 1981 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED
Image of page 149

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

Perry v. Sindermann , 815 a professor employed for several years at a public college was found to have a protected interest, even though his employment contract had no tenure provision and there was no statutory assurance of it. 816 The “existing rules or understandings” were deemed to have the characteristics of tenure, and thus pro- vided a legitimate expectation independent of any contract provi- sion. 817 The Court has also found “legitimate entitlements” in a variety of other situations besides employment. In Goss v. Lopez , 818 an Ohio statute provided for both free education to all residents between five and 21 years of age and compulsory school attendance; thus, the state was deemed to have obligated itself to accord students some due process hearing rights prior to suspending them, even for such a short period as ten days. “Having chosen to extend the right to
Image of page 150
Image of page 151
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern