High Court Rejects Proposal to Expand School Drug Tests

By Murray, Frank J. | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 23, 1999 | Go to article overview

High Court Rejects Proposal to Expand School Drug Tests


Murray, Frank J., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The Supreme Court yesterday refused to consider expanding public high schools' authority to test for illegal drug use.

The justices, who have allowed testing of students for voluntary extracurricular activities, refused to permit an Indiana district to require urine tests for students returning to class after suspensions of three days or more.

In another case, the court ruled 8-1 that college professors do not have a constitutional right to negotiate rules on how to apportion their working time between teaching and research.

The unsigned opinion, with Justice John Paul Stevens dissenting, upheld as "entirely rational" an Ohio law to ensure that professors spend more time in the classroom.

In setting up their agenda for the term that begins in October, justices agreed to decide whether states may exclude voters by race from a special election.

The Hawaii case tests the constitutionality of restricting voting on a program benefiting those of Hawaiian blood solely to those descended from islanders living in Hawaii before 1778, when Capt. James Cook arrived with the first Europeans.

Another case accepted for the last term of the year will test a prosecutor's right to tell the jury that the defendant had an edge because he testified after hearing what everyone else said.

Ray Agard of New York appealed his conviction and 10- to 20-year sentence for sodomy and weapons possession on the grounds that a prosecutor said, "You get to sit here and think, `What am I going to say? . . . How am I going to fit it into the evidence?' "

Without comment or explanation, the justices also:

* Refused to hear the Cult Awareness Network's appeal from a 1995 federal court order in Seattle to pay $1,875,000 to Jason Scott, who claimed his civil rights were violated during a five-day kidnapping to "deprogram" him of United Pentecostal beliefs.

* Left standing Rita Gluzman's life sentence for her husband's 1996 murder. …

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