Bd. of Regents v. Roth

408 U.S. 564, 92 S. Ct. 2701 (1972)



Property interests are not created by the Constitution. Rather, they are created and their dimensions are defined by existing rules or understandings that stem from an independent source such as state law -- rules or understandings that secure certain benefits and that support claims of entitlement to those benefits. 


The professor was hired for his first teaching job as an assistant professor at a state-run university. He was hired for a fixed term of one year and was not re-hired the following year. The professor brought suit against the university alleging that he was denied his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process because the university never gave him a reason for their decision not to re-hire him and further he had no opportunity to challenge their decision at a hearing.


Does the due process clause under the Fourteenth Amendment protect interests of individuals with regard to property rights after they have been denied renewal of a year-to-year contract?




The Court held that the professor had no protected interest in continued employment, as he had completed his contracted for term, therefore, there could be no Fourteenth Amendment protection. The decision of the lower court and the appellate court was reversed and the case was remanded.

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