CourtSpeak: Board of Education v. Earls Student Drug Test Case (2002)

Criminal Justice Read more from
Chapter The Rehnquist Court (1986–2005)

Justice Clarence Thomas (majority): “This Court must consider the nature and immediacy of the government’s concerns and the efficacy of the Policy in meeting them. This Court has already articulated in detail the importance of the governmental concern in preventing drug use by schoolchildren. The drug abuse problem among our Nation’s youth has hardly abated since Vernonia was decided in 1995. In fact, evidence suggests that it has only grown worse. As in Vernonia, ‘the necessity for the State to act is magnified by the fact that this evil is being visited not just upon individuals at large, but upon children for whom it has undertaken a special responsibility of care and direction.’ The health and safety risks identified in Vernonia apply with equal force to Tecumseh’s children. Indeed, the nationwide drug epidemic makes the war against drugs a pressing concern in every school.”


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