The 8th Circuit US Court of Appeals has rejected a suit challenging Higher Education Act's restriction on aid for students with a drug offense.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on April 29, 2008 ("Appeals Court Rejects Challenge To Law Denying Student Aid To Drug Offenders") that "Opponents of a law that prevents students who are convicted of drug offenses from receiving federal financial aid were handed another legal defeat today. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, upholding a 2006 decision by a U.S. District Court, has refused to reinstate a lawsuit that sought to strike down the law."
According to the Chronicle, "In its ruling the appeals court rejected arguments by the Students for Sensible Drug Policy Foundation, which filed the appeal, that the federal law is unconstitutional. The group argued, in part, that denial of financial aid by the Education Department to students who have already served a court-imposed sentence violates the U.S. Constitution's ban on double jeopardy, criminally punishing someone twice for the same offense. But the appeals court said that the federal law's sanctions cannot be considered criminally punitive, especially in the double-jeopardy context.