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Vernonia School District v. Acton (47J)

Significance, Stimulus, Response, An Invasion Of Privacy?, In Loco Parentis, Impact, Teenagers And The Availability Of Drugs


Vernonia School District 47J


Wayne Acton, et al.

Petitioner's Claim

That a school policy mandating random drug testing for participants in interscholastic athletic programs did not violate Fourth Amendment prohibitions against illegal search and seizure.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Timothy R. Volpert, John A. Matterazzo, Davis Wright Tremaine

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Thomas M. Christ, John A. Wittmayer, Steven R. Shapiro

Justices for the Court

Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia (writing for the Court), Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting

Sandra Day O'Connor, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

26 June 1995


Upheld the school district's claim, vacating a judgement by the court of appeals and remanding the case for further proceedings in the court of appeals consistent with a finding that Vernonia's student athlete drug testing policy did not violate Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure.

Related Cases

  • Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648 (1979).
  • New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985).
  • Skinner v. Railway Executives' Association, 489 U.S. 602 (1989).


Bureau of Justice Statistics Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics--1996. Washington, DC: U.S. Government, 1997.

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1990.
  • Legal Information Institute and Project Hermes. http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/94590.ZS.html.

Additional topics

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