WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court approved random drug tests for many public high school students Thursday, ruling that schools' interest in ridding their campuses of drugs outweighs an individual's right to privacy.
The 5-4 decision would allow the broadest drug testing the court has yet permitted for young people whom authorities have no particular reason to suspect of wrongdoing. It applies to students who join competitive after-school activities or teams, a category that includes many if not most middle-school and high-school students.
Previously these tests had been allowed only for student athletes.
"We find that testing students who participate in extracurricular activities is a reasonably effective means of addressing the school district's legitimate concerns in preventing, deterring and detecting drug use," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for himself, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Stephen Breyer.
Supreme Court overturns speech restraints on judge candidates
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down limits on what some judicial candidates may tell voters, a landmark free speech ruling that could heat up court campaigns around the country.
Nearly 40 states elect some judges, and also restrict what they say or do while campaigning to promote an image of fairness and independence for courts.
The Supreme Court, in throwing out strict limits in Minnesota on a 5-4 vote, said the rules impose an unconstitutional gag order.
Minnesota is one of nine states that had banned would-be judges from announcing views on "disputed legal or political issues." Most other states keep candidates from divulging their positions on issues that might come before their court.
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