New Cases and Developments

NACUA's Legal Resources staff summarizes current higher education cases and developments and provides the full text of selected cases to members. New cases and developments are archived here for up to 12 months.  Cases provided by Fastcase, Inc.

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Guns on Campus; Constitutional Issues

Zachary Mutter v. William Rodriguez (7th Cir. August 21, 2017)

Order affirming the district court’s dismissal of Plaintiff’s suit under the Eleventh Amendment. Plaintiff, a dentistry student at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), alleged that UIC and its police department violated his Second, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as state law, when it expelled him with an option of re-enrolling after two years, for brandishing a gun after he witnessed a physical altercation on his walk home. Applying the Ex parte Young doctrine, which allows a Plaintiff to circumvent Eleventh Amendment Immunity when seeking prospective relief from an ongoing violation of federal law, the district court dismissed Plaintiff’s suit because he neither identified an ongoing violation of federal law nor identified “state officials” who could be sued under §1983. The court affirmed the district court’s reasoning, adding that the case was moot because no obstacle presently prevented Plaintiff from reenrolling in the dental program since the two-year timeframe had elapsed. 

Guns on Campus; Constitutional Issues

Wade v. University of Michigan (Mich. App. June 6, 2017)

Opinion affirming the lower court’s grant of summary disposition in favor of the University of Michigan (UM) and dismissing Plaintiff’s Complaint. In 2001, the University revised a policy to prohibit firearms on properties owned, leased, or controlled by the University. After Plaintiff was denied a waiver of the prohibition, he filed suit alleging that the ban violated his federal and state constitutional rights to keep and bear arms, and that University policy was preempted by state law. The lower court held in favor of UM, concluding that the University constituted the kind of “sensitive place” exempt from Second Amendment protection as contemplated in District of Columbia v. Heller. The Michigan Appeals Court affirmed. Under the two-part test established in Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, the court held that universities, as public educational institutions, have been historically recognized as falling outside the scope of the Second Amendment, and therefore UM’s policy on weapons does not burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment. 

Guns on Campus

AAU Board Expresses Support for Research on Gun Violence and Gun Safety

Announcement by the Association of American Universities Board of Directors stating its concern with gun violence in America the importance of conducting research to evaluate how the country can address this issue. AAU's Board also expressed its backing of President Obama's recent directive to the Justice Department and the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to conduct research on technology that can improve gun safety. Lastly, the Board asks that Congress act to remove its prohibition on federally funded public health research on gun violence.