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Jones v. State Board of Education of Tennessee/Opinion of the Court

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Case Syllabus
Per Curiam Opinion of the Court
Dissenting Opinion

United States Supreme Court

397 U.S. 31

Jones  v.  State Board of Education of Tennessee

 Argued: Jan. 19 and 20, 1970. --- Decided: Feb 24, 1970

Petitioner Jones was suspended indefinitely as a student at Tennessee A. & I. State University in the summer of 1967. His indefinite suspension was confirmed after a hearing in September of that year, in which charges against him were specified, evidence taken, and findings made. He, along with two other suspended students, brought suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, seeking to set aside the suspension on First Amendment and due process grounds. After a hearing, the District Court granted judgment on the merits to defendants with an opinion. 279 F.Supp. 190 (1968). On appeal the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed. 407 F.2d 834 (1969). We granted certiorari, 396 U.S. 817, 90 S.Ct. 145, 24 L.Ed.2d 69 (1969), primarily to consider the issues raised by Jones' claim that he had been separated from the university solely because of his distribution of leaflets urging a boycott of fall registration.

After oral argument, and on closer review of the record, it emerges-as it did not from the certiorari papers or the opinions of the District Court and the Court of Appeals-that Jones' indefinite suspension was based in part on a finding that he lied at the hearing on the charges against him. This fact sufficiently clouds the record to render the case an inappropriate vehicle for this Court's first decision on the extent of First Amendment restrictions upon the power of state universities to expel or indefinitely suspend students for the expression of views alleged to be disruptive of the good order of the campus. Accordingly the writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted.

It is so ordered.

Writ of certiorari dismissed.

Mr. Justice BLACK, for reasons set out in the above opinion and others stated in his dissent in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 515-526, 89 S.Ct. 733, 741-747, 21 L.Ed.2d 731, would affirm the judgment below.

Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, with whom Mr. Justice BRENNAN concurs, dissenting.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).