Union Pacific Railway Company v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250 (1891)
A court may not force a person to submit to a medical examination, without his or her consent.
"No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law, than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. As well said by Judge Cooley, 'The right to one's person may be said to be a right of complete immunity: to be let alone.'" [Go to Quote]
Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905)
Requiring innoculation is constitutional.
"There is, of course, a sphere within which the individual may assert the supremacy of his own will and rightfully dispute the authority of any human government, especially of any free government existing under a written constitution, to interfere with the exercise of that will. But it is equally true that in every well-ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand."
Adamson v. People of the State of California, 332 U.S. 46 (1947)
This is the classic case that refused to incorporate the Bill of Rights against the states. Of particular interest is the appendix by Justice Black that gives the actual historical and original intent of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Kent v. Dulles, 357 U.S. 116 (1958)
Kent was denied passport because he was accused of being a Communist. The Court recognized the right to travel (saying it was almost as basic as the choice of what one wears). It did not rule the law unconstitutional, but that the delegation used was too broad.
"The right to travel is a part of the 'liberty' of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. . . . It may be as close to the heart of the individual as the choice of what he eats, or wears, or reads." [Go to Quote]
"And, as we have seen, the right of exit is a personal right included within the word 'liberty' as used in the Fifth Amendment. If that 'liberty' is to be regulated, it must be pursuant to the law-making functions of the Congress. And if that power is delegated, the standards must be adequate to pass scrutiny by the accepted tests. Where activities or enjoyment, natural and often necessary to the well-being of an American citizen, such as travel, are involved, we will construe narrowly all delegated powers that curtail or dilute them. We hesitate to find in this broad generalized power an authority to trench so heavily on the rights of the citizen." [Go to Quote]
New York v. O'Neill, 359 U.S. 1 (1959)
Witnesses can be compelled to appear across state lines. The dissent quotes the eats, or wears, or reads of Kent v. Dulles.
Bell v. Maryland, 378 U.S. 226 (1964)
Landmark ruling of blacks charged with criminal trespass at a restaurant. A footnote in the concurrence quotes the eats, or wears, or reads of Kent v. Dulles. It also mentions that Blackstone discusses the "personal liberty of individuals".
Aptheker v. Secretary of State, 378 U.S. 500 (1964)
US statute denying passport is unconstitutional. This quotes the eats, or wears, or reads of Kent v. Dulles.
"The restrictive effect of the legislation cannot be gainsaid by emphasizing, as the Government seems to do, that a member of a registering organization could recapture his freedom to travel by simply in good faith abandoning his membership in the organization. Since freedom of association is itself guaranteed in the First Amendment, restrictions imposed upon the right to travel cannot be dismissed by asserting that the right to travel could be fully exercised if the individual would first yield up his membership in a given association." [Go to Quote]
United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968)
Although there may be different justifications for a statute which is applicable to adults and one which applies to students of a high school, the Constitution protects minor high school students as well as adults from arbitrary and unjustified governmental rules.
Kelley v. Johnson, 425 U.S. 238 (1976)
Policeman subject to rules limiting hair length. Liberty interest in personal appearance subject to rational basis test. However, this may be because this starts out as police regulation. I think a strong case could be made that, while rational basis is the correct test for a government employee (since it is balancing the state's strong need for police with the libery interest), when addressing a private citizen, a heightend scutiny may apply. The dissent quotes the eats, or wears, or reads of Kent v. Dulles.
"But whether the citizenry at large has some sort of "liberty" interest within the Fourteenth Amendment in matters of personal appearance is a question on which this Court's cases offer little, if any, guidance. We can, nevertheless, assume an affirmative answer for purposes of deciding this case, because we find that assumption insufficient to carry the day for respondent's claim. [Go to Quote]
"We believe, however, that the hair-length regulation cannot be viewed in isolation, but must be rather considered in the context of the county's chosen mode of organization for its police force." [Go to Quote]
"Thus the question is not, as the Court of Appeals conceived it to be, whether the State can "establish" a "genuine public need" for the specific regulation. It is whether respondent can demonstrate that there is no rational connection between the regulation, based as it is on the county's method of organizing its police force, and the promotion of safety of persons and property." [Go to Quote]
"Certainly its language cannot be taken to suggest that the claim of a member of a uniformed civilian service based on the "liberty" interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment must necessarily be treated for constitutional purposes the same as a similar claim by a member of the general public." [Go to Quote]
"If the committee were governed by that general principle . . . they might have declared that a man should have a right to wear his hat if he pleased . . . but [I] would ask the gentleman whether he thought it necessary to enter these trifles in a declaration of rights, in a Government where none of them were intended to be infringed." Congressman Sedgwick in debate over the Bill of Rights, as quoted in The Bill of Rights by Irving Brant, from the dissent by Marshall. [Go to Quote]
Quinn v. Muscare, 425 U.S. 560 (1976)
Personal appearance regulation for Chicago fireman. Upheld based on Kelley.
Rutan v. Republican Party, 497 U.S. 62 (1990)
Government employee cannot be denied promotion due to political affiliation.
The restrictions that the Constitution places upon the government in its capacity as lawmaker, i.e., as the regulator of private conduct, are not the same as the restrictions that it places upon the government in its capacity as employer. We have recognized this in many contexts, with respect to many different constitutional guarantees. Private citizens perhaps cannot be prevented from wearing long hair, but policemen can. Scalia's dissent. [Go to Quote]
That strict-scrutiny standard finds no support in our cases. Although our decisions establish that government employees do not lose all constitutional rights, we have consistently applied a lower level of scrutiny when "the governmental function operating . . . [is] not the power to regulate or license, as lawmaker, an entire trade or profession, or to control an entire branch of private business, but, rather, as proprietor, to manage [its] internal operatio[ns]. . . ." When dealing with its own employees, the government may not act in a manner that is "patently arbitrary or discriminatory," but its regulations are valid if they bear a "rational connection" to the governmental end sought to be served, Scalia's dissent. [Go to Quote]
ME, MA, NH, RI, Puerto Rico
Richards v. Thurston, 424 F.2d 1281 (1st Cir. 1970)
April 28, 1970
School hair regulation unconstitutional; liberty interest exists and state showed no justification for its rule.
"We conclude that within the commodious concept of liberty, embracing freedoms great and small, is the right to wear one's hair as he wishes." [Go to Quote]
"Determining that a personal liberty is involved answers only the first of two questions. The second is whether there is an outweighing state interest justifying the intrusion. The answer to this question must take into account the nature of the liberty asserted, the context in which it is asserted, and the extent to which the intrusion is confined to the legitimate public interest to be served. . . . Finally, a school rule which forbids skirts shorter than a certain length while on school grounds would require less justification than one requiring hair to be cut, which affects the student twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, nine months a year." [Go to Quote]
"Once the personal liberty is shown, the countervailing interest must either be self-evident or be affirmatively shown." [Go to Quote]
Friedman v. Froehlke, 470 F.2d 1351 (1st Cir. 1972)December 22, 1972
Wig-wearing by reservists. Regulation overturned.
"[I]nsofar as members of the reserve are concerned, who, under their contracts, are allowed to work and live in civilian society for most of the time, the right to wear their hair as they please is not so trivial as to be denied without any service-connected reason."
Tardif v. Quinn, 545 F.2d 761 (1st Cir. 1976)December 16, 1976
Teacher dismissed for wearing short skirts. Upheld. Employer-Employee contractual relationship overrides recognized right. Rule not shown to be irrational.
CT, NY, VT
Dwen v. Barry, 483 F.2d 1126 (2d Cir. 1973)
August 22, 1973
Policeman hair case. Regulation not shown to be necessary. Remanded for trial to determine if there was reasonable justification. Summary judgment reversed.
"Personal liberty is not composed simply and only of freedoms held to be fundamental but includes the freedom to make and act on less significant personal decisions without arbitrary government interference. Limitation of such a right requires some showing of public need." [Go to Quote]
"We hold only that choice of personal appearance is an ingredient of an individual's personal liberty, and that any restriction on that right must be justified by a legitimate state interest reasonably related to the regulation." [Go to Quote]
Dwen v. Barry, 543 F.2d 465 (2nd Cir. 1976)
June 25, 1976
This is the remand from the Supreme Court on Kelley (Kelley was one of the policemen covered in Dwen). Regulation upheld.
East Hartford Education Association v. Board of Education of Town of East Hartford, 562 F.2d 838 (2nd Cir. 1977)
February 22, 1977
Ruling by 3-judge panel. Teacher objected to wearing a tie in class. Court recognized right to personal appearance; did not find a state countervailing interest.
The right to control one's own body, recognized by Supreme Court decree as constitutionally derived, extends in the minds and hearts of many individuals to the body's teguments, be they clothing or hair. [Go to Quote]
East Hartford Education Association v. Board of Education of Town of East Hartford (en banc), 562 F.2d 838 (2nd Cir. 1977)August 19, 1977
En banc rehearing. Brimley had no liberty interest (supposedly based on Kelley), since he as an employee. They did recognize the right of liberty as "important", just not strong enough. The dress code was not so irrational as to be arbitrary.
"The [Supreme] Court was careful to distinguish privacy claims made by government employees from those made by members of the public . . ." [Go to Quote]
DE, NJ, PA, Virgin Islands
Gere v. Stanley, 453 F.2d 205 (3d Cir. 1971)December 27, 1971
Disruption caused by Gere's long hair outweighed any liberty interest he may have had. Evidence presented was an adequate justification of the hair-length regulation.
Stull v. School Board of Western Beaver Junior-Senior High School, 459 F.2d 339 (3rd Cir. 1972)April 13, 1972
Right to wear long hair is implicit in the libery assurance of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. School did not show an outweighing state interest in justifying the regulation.
Zeller v. Donegal School District Board of Education, 517 F.2d 600 (3rd Cir. 1975)May 14, 1975
The court dismissed this case for "failure to state a claim". It is a plurality decision (4-1-4), with the 1 recognizing the liberty interest, but dismissing because of a combination of mootness and that the school board could claim qualified immunity. The 4 in dissent recognized the liberty interest.
". . . the effect of today's decision is to overrule Stull v. School Board, supra, that held school officials must demonstrate 'an outweighing state interest.'" [Go to Quote]
"If a school board arbitrarily may regulate the length of a male student's hair, may it not also arbitrarily require that he wear no hair? If a school board arbitrarily may regulate the length of a student's hair, may it not also capriciously require female students to shear their hair? I cannot believe that such a result is countenanced by the due process and equal protection clauses." From concurrence/dissent by Judge Rosenn. [Go to Quote]
"The Bill of Rights presumes the existence of a substantial body of rights not specifically enumerated but easily perceived in the broad concept of liberty and so numerous and so obvious as to preclude listing them." From dissent by Judge Seitz. [Go to Quote]
Syrek v. Pennsylvania Air National Guard, 537 F.2d 66 (3rd Cir. 1976)
July 16, 1976
"However, contrary to the district court's understanding, a majority of this court in Zeller held that state regulation of hair length could constitute an invasion of constitutionally protected 'liberty'." [Go to Quote]
Kreimer v. Morristown, 765 F.Supp 181 (D.N.J. 1991)
May 22, 1991
Kreimer was homeless man challenging library rules. Library is "limited public forum", and hence subject to 1st Amendment jurisprudence. Library could not keep him out.
"Mere public intolerance or animosity cannot constitutionally justify the deprivation of a person's physical liberty." Quoting O'Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563, 575, 95 S.Ct. 2486, 2493, 45 L.Ed.2d 396 (1975). [Go to Quote]
Kreimer v. Morristown, 958 F.2d 1242
March 23, 1992
Court upheld that Library is "limited public forum", but since his antics/smell bothered other patrons, that met the burden of the government to override his right to receive information. Court overturned the District Court decision.
"Because this rule would require the expulsion of a patron who might otherwise be peacefully engaged in permissible First Amendment activities within the purposes for which the Library was opened, such as reading, writing or quiet contemplation, we must determine whether the rule is narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest and whether it leaves ample alternative channels of communication." [Go to Quote]
MD, NC, SC, VA, WV
Massie v. Henry, 455 F.2d 779 (4th Cir. 1972)
February 2, 1972
Hair length regulation unconstitutional; right exists, regulation lacks justification outweighing that right.
"[W]e prefer in this case to treat their right to wear their hair as they wish as an aspect of the right to be secure in one's person guaranteed by the due process clause, but having overlapping equal protection clause considerations since the purported limitation of the right was by a state public school official." [Go to Quote]
"[W]e are inclined to think that faculty leadership in promoting and enforcing an attitude of tolerance rather than one of suppression or derision would obviate the relatively minor disruptions which have occurred." [Go to Quote]
"Since the regulation lacks justification outweighing the minor plaintiffs' rights, the district court should declare it invalid and enjoin its enforcement in the particulars alleged." [Go to Quote]
Long v. Zopp, 476 F.2d 180 (4th Cir. 1973)
March 29, 1973
Ruling in Massie also applies to high school student athlete. Coach cannot require athletes to have short hair all year long.
Mick v. Sullivan, 476 F.2d 973 (4th Cir. 1973)
April 16, 1973
District Court, while recognizing hairstyle right, ruled against Mick, saying hairstyle might be potentially disruptive. Circuit Court re-iterated Massie and overruled.
Hough v. Seaman, 493 F.2d 298 (4th Cir. 1974)
March 19, 1974
Reservist can wear wig. No rational basis (in particular, since bald men were allowed to wear wigs).
Earwood v. Continental Southeastern Lines Inc., 539 F.2d 1349 (4th Cir. 1976)
August 25, 1976
It is not sex discrimination to require male bus company drivers to have short hair.
"The right to wear long hair is clearly protected against government interference. But as against an employer, even a government employer, a grooming regulation will be sustained unless the decision to enact the regulation or the regulation itself 'is so irrational that it may be branded "arbitrary," and therefore a deprivation of respondent's "liberty" interest in freedom to choose his own hair style.'"
Willis v. Town of Marshall, (4th Cir. 2005)
October 7, 2005
Woman banned from city dance hall because she supposedly danced too provocatively. The District Court ruling is here.
5th Circuit (pre-1981)
AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX, Canal Zone
In 1981, the 5th Circuit was split, with AL, FL, and GA going to the newly-created 11th Circuit. Go there for post-1981 decisions.
Ferrell v. Dallas Independent School District, 392 F.2d 697 (5th Cir. 1968)
March 29, 1968
upheld regulation - need demonstrated
Griffin v. Tatum, 425 F.2d 201 (5th Cir. 1970)
April 20, 1970
Stevenson v. Board of Education of Wheeler County, Georgia, 426 F.2d 1154 (5th Cir. 1971)
May 26, 1970
Dawson v. Hillsborough County, Florida School Board, 445 F.2d 308 (5th Cir. 1971)
June 14, 1971
Karr v. Schmidt, 460 F.2d 609 (5th Cir. 1972)
April 28, 1972
School may prescribe any hair rule it likes. This is not a constitutional issue. Furthermore, the court wants to hear no more cases of this sort. However, this was a 7-1-7 en banc decision, with the 1 being a special concurrence saying that dress codes should be tested using the rational basis standard.
"It seems to us patently absurd to suggest that our decision here today provides a basis for sustaining a state regulation requiring conventional haircuts for the general adult population." [Go to Quote]
"The rule here has effect beyond school, so were a school to prohibit a boy attending school with no shirt and bare to the waist, if he desires to go bare waisted in life at home or beyond the school he may take off the shirt as he leaves the school grounds. Such is not the case with hair . . . The hair restriction . . . invades private life beyond the school jurisdiction." Quoting Dunham v. Pulsifer, 312 F. Supp. 411, 419 (D.Vermont 1970). [Go to Quote]
Lansdale v. Tyler Junior College, 470 F.2d 659, 663 (5th Cir. 1972)
October 4, 1972
At the college level such interests are not sufficient to warrant a similar intrusion on the liberty interests of college students.
"The value of the liberty hasn't changed, rather the setting in which it is to be exercised has." [Go to Quote]
"Today the court affirms that the adult's constitutional right to wear his hair as he chooses supersedes the State's right to intrude." [Go to Quote]
Ashley v. City of Macon 505 F.2d 868 (5th Cir. 1975)
January 2, 1975
Macon may prohibit long hair, sideburns, and beards on its policemen.
Hander v. San Jacinto Junior College, 519 F.2d 273 (5th Cir. 1975)
September 12, 1975
Junior College may not impose grooming standards (no beards) on its faculty. School's attempt to justify its regulation was unpersuasive.
"the public, with growing thousands of entirely responsible adult members of the community wearing all sorts of hair and face trims, . . . come[s] to its senses and does not see in such variations the seeds of violence and revolution." [Go to Quote]
5th Circuit (post-1981)
LA, MS, TX, Canal Zone
Domico v. Rapides Parish School Board, 675 F.2d 100 (5th Cir. 1982)
May 7, 1982
Public school system instituted no-beard rule. Upheld. While liberty interest recognized, no fundamental right was violated. Rational basis test applied.
"Contrary to what the district court stated, there is a constitutional liberty interest in choosing how to wear one's hair." [Go to Quote]
"The plaintiffs cannot claim that the right to choose one's hairstyle is a fundamental right whose deprivation will draw stricter scrutiny from the courts. Fundamental rights have generally been limited to basic matters such as procreation and family life." [Go to Quote]
Canady v. Bossier Parish School System, 2001 WL 58722 (5th Cir. 2001)
May 7, 1982
School uniform rule upheld, based on school's trial study which showed rule decreased behavior problems and increased test scores.
"The district court concluded that clothing and hair length were essentially the same for purposes of constitutional protection. We disagree. While a person's choice of clothing may be predicated solely on considerations of style and comfort, an individual's choice of attire also may be endowed with sufficient levels of intentional expression to elicit First Amendment shelter." [Go to Quote]
"While certain forms of expressive conduct and speech are sheltered under the First Amendment, constitutional protection is not absolute, especially in the public school setting." [Go to Quote]
"Thus, the School Board's uniform policy will pass constitutional scrutiny if it furthers an important or substantial government interest; if the interest is unrelated to the suppression of student expression; and if the incidental restrictions on First Amendment activities are no more than is necessary to facilitate that interest." [Go to Quote]
KY, MI, OH, TN
Jackson v. Dorrier, 424 F.2d 213 (6th Cir. 1970)
April 6, 1970
Hair regulation upheld. Court did not find First Amendment violation, or equal protection violation (though it examined only equal application of the regulation), or "privacy" violation (though for this, they just said that the argument was without merit).
"Having found no violation of constitutional rights, we are not prepared to hold that the regulation here in question and the interpretation and application placed upon it are beyond the power of school officials and the Board of Education, as applied to public elementary and high schools, provided there is adequate compliance with due process standards. The students here involved, were accorded an adequate hearing before school authorities and the Board of Education and a thorough evidentiary hearing before the District Judge." [Go to Quote]
Gfell v. Rickelman, 441 F.2d 444 (6th Cir. 1971)
April 7, 1971
Court re-affirmed Jackson, restating that no constitutional right was violated, and that there was a rational basis for the rule.
"We are unable to agree with some courts that the freedom of choosing one's hair style is a fundamental right protected under the principles expressed in the separate opinions in Griswold v. Connecticut." [Go to Quote]
Hoose v. Eidson, 450 F.2d 746 (6th Cir. 1971)
August 24, 1971
Court strongly re-affirmed Gfell.
Boroff v. Van Wert, 220 F.3d 465 (6th Cir. 2000)
July 26, 2000
This is more of a free speech case. Court ruled that student did not have right to wear "Marilyn Manson" T-shirt to school, since it was vulgar and indecent.
Castorina v. Madison County School Board, 246 F.3d 536 (6th Cir. 2001)
March 8, 2001
This was a case of two students wearing T-shirts with the Confederate Flag on them. It was remanded to the District Court to decide if it had caused disruption or not.
IL, IN, WI
Breen v. Kahl, 419 F.2d 1034 (7th Cir. 1969)
December 3, 1969
Hair length regulation unconstitutional; this is fundamental right and state must meet substantial burden.
"The right to wear one's hair at any length or in any desired manner is an ingredient of personal freedom protected by the United States Constitution. Whether this right is designated as within the 'penumbras' of the first amendment freedom of speech, or as encompassed within the ninth amendment as an 'additional fundamental right * * * which exist alongside those fundamental rights specifically mentioned in the first eight constitutional amendments', it clearly exists and is applicable to the states through the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment." [Go to Quote]
"To limit or curtail this or any other fundamental right, the state has a 'substantial burden of justification.'" [Go to Quote]
Crews v. Cloncs, 432 F.2d 1259 (7th Cir. 1970)
August 10, 1970
To ban long hair, board must satisfy "substantial burden of justification". Board's justification of "health and safety reasons" was not supported by the evidence.
Arnold v. Carpenter, 459 F.2d 939 (7th Cir. 1972)
April 25, 1972
Miller v. School District No. 167, 495 F.2d 658 (7th Cir. 1974)
April 5, 1974
Grooming regulation for teacher upheld. Right of personal appearance is really minimized, partly based on (what I consider to be) a mis-reading of Ham v. South Carolina regarding beards.
"From the earliest days of organized society, no absolute right to an unfettered choice of appearance has ever been recognized; matters of appearance and dress have always been subjected to control and regulation, sometimes by custom and social pressure, sometimes by legal rules. A variety of reasons justify limitations on this interest. They include a concern for public health or safety, a desire to avoid specific forms of antisocial conduct, and an interest in protecting the beholder from unsightly displays." [Go to Quote]
"In sum, the constitutional interest which plaintiff seeks to vindicate is not of the first magnitude and the impairment of that interest is a relatively minor deprivation at best." [Go to Quote]
Holsapple v. Woods, 500 F.2d 49 (7th Cir. 1974)
May 22, 1974
Hair regulation infringes constitutional right. Government had to satisfy "substantial burden of justification" and did not do so.
Pence v. Rosenquist, 573 F.2d 395 (7th Cir. 1978)
February 2, 1978
School bus driver refused to cut off mustache (and teachers had no comparable rule). Used Kelley (driver must demonstrate that the policy was so irrational as to be arbitrary), since driver was employee of the state. Case was remanded to see if any rationale for rule could be found.
This also withdraws the categorical holding of Miller.
"Our difficulty with this case arises out of the holding, relied on by the district court, that the liberty exercised in choice of style of appearance is of such minor significance that 'the denial of public employment because the employer considers the applicant's appearance inappropriate for the position in question, does not in and of itself represent a deprivation that is forbidden by the Due Process Clause.'" [Go to Quote]
"[T]he Supreme Court preferred to analyze the relationship of the rule to a governmental purpose than to adopt a principle categorically excluding the government employee's liberty interest in choice of personal appearance from constitutional protection." [Go to Quote]
"We have no difficulty in concluding, as we have in school student cases (see footnote 7), that choice of appearance is an element of liberty. It seems a sounder approach to analyze the problem in terms of the rational relationship between the rule and a public purpose, as in Kelley, than to deny all consideration as in Miller." [Go to Quote]
AR, IA, MN, MO, NB, ND, SD
Bishop v. Colaw, 450 F.2d 1069 (8th Cir. 1971)
October 27, 1971
Hair length is a personal freedom. State did not show justification.
"Our task, therefore, is to weigh the competing interests asserted here. In doing so, we proceed from the premise that the school administration carries the burden of establishing the necessity of infringing upon Stephen's freedom in order to carry out the educational mission of the . . . High School." [Go to Quote]
Nor does the acceptance of the dress code by the majority of the St. Charles community and students justify the infringement of Stephen's liberty to govern his personal appearance. Toleration of individual differences is basic to our democracy, whether those differences be in religion, politics, or life-style. [Go to Quote]
The gamut of rationalizations for justifying this restriction fails in light of reasoned analysis. When school authorities complain variously that such hair styles are inspired by a communist conspiracy, that they make boys look like girls, that they promote confusion as to the use of rest rooms and that they destroy the students' moral fiber, then it is little wonder even moderate students complain of "getting up tight." In final analysis, I am satisfied a comprehensive school restriction on male student hair styles accomplishes little more than to project the prejudices and personal distastes of certain adults in authority on to the impressionable young student. From the concurrence by Judge Lay. [Go to Quote]
Miller v. Ackerman, 488 F.2d 920, 922 (8th Cir. 1973)
December 19, 1973
Marine Corp wig case. No rational basis for the rule found.
Lowman v. Davies, 704 F.2d 1044 (8th Cir. 1983)
April 13, 1983
Hair length rule for Park employee upheld (based on Kelley). While the constitutional right to personal appearance is recognized, it can be limited if the state has a rational reason for doing so. Since park naturalist had law enforcement duty as in Kelley, Kelley controlled.
D.C. and M.S. v. City of St. Louis, 795 F.2d 652 (8th Cir. 1986)
July 9, 1986
A cross-dressing case ("in any public place . . . in a dress not belonging to his or her sex."). This portion was tossed at the District Court level (leaving only a vagueness challenge on "indecent").
Hottinger v. Pope County, 971 F.2d 127 (8th Cir. 1992)
July 27, 1992
Emergency Medical Technicians are subject to grooming regulations. Rule is not "wholly arbitrary."
Stephenson v. Davenport Community School 110 F.3d 1303 (8th Cir. 1997)
April 9, 1997
Girl threatened with expulsion over tattoo because it was a 'gang symbol'. Rule overturned on void-for-vagueness.
AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA, Guam
June 25, 1971
Upheld regulation - no constitutional right. Note that, in California, a junior college is part of the public secondary school system.
Campbell v. Beaughler, 519 F.2d 1307 (9th Cir. 1975)
June 23, 1975
Hair length (no wigs allowed) regulation upheld against military reservist.
Jacobs v. Kunes, 541 F.2d 222 (9th Cir. 1976)
August 20, 1976
Regulation upheld against county employees; Kelley discussed.
"The test used was 'whether [the] determination that such regulations should be enacted is so irrational that it may be branded "arbitrary" and therefore a deprivation of [a] "liberty" interest in freedom to choose [a] hair style.' . . . This type of test has generally been used in substantive areas where the Court felt it ought to defer to legislative choice. Its use in Kelley seems to indicate that the hair length of public employees is such an area. [Go to Quote]
CO, KS, NM, OK, UT, WY
Freeman v. Flake, 448 F.2d 258 (10 Cir. 1971)
September 28, 1971
Upheld regulation - no constitutional issue.
"Complaints which are based on nothing more than school regulations of the length of a male student's hair do not "directly and sharply implicate basic constitutional values" and are not cognizable in federal courts under the principles stated in Epperson v. Arkansas." [Go to Quote]
AL, FL, GA
In 1981, the 5th Circuit was split, with AL, FL, and GA forming the 11th Circuit. To see cases for these areas before 1981, go to 5th Circuit (pre-1981).
DeWeese v. Palm Beach, 958 F.2d 1242 (11th Cir. 1982)
October 8, 1982
An early skirmish for DeWeese.
Davenport v. Randolph County Board of Education, 730 F.2d 1395 (11th Cir. 1984)
April 26, 1984
Clean-shaven policy dictated by coach upheld.
DeWeese v. Palm Beach, 812 F.2d 1365 (11th Cir. 1987)
March 23, 1987
Regulation requiring shirt to be worn found unconstitutional. Although court says that liberty interest in personal dress is protected, it used rational basis to decide issue. I suspect that this is an error, since Kelley applies rational basis to the case of the dress of a public employee, with the strong implication that higher scrutiny would apply to regular citizens.
The instant restrictions cannot be distinguished satisfactorily from a regulation requiring all citizens when appearing in public to wear a brown shirt, or from a regulation prohibiting women from appearing in public in slacks or with bare calves or dresses above the knee, or from a regulation requiring all men appearing in public after sundown to wear a black tie and tails. We are satisfied that such intrusions on the liberty interests of citizens at large would not pass constitutional muster, absent identification of some rational basis which has not yet been brought to our attention and which is beyond our present imagination. [Go to Quote]
Brown v. D. C. Transit System, 523 F.2d 725 (D.C. Cir. 1975)
February 28, 1975
Overturned District Court ruling that Transit System bus drivers could wear beards. Ruled that the D. C. Transit System was a private corporation that could make its own employee rules (despite its exclusive franchise).
"Of course individual citizens have a constitutional right to wear beards, sideburns and mustaches in any form and to any length they may choose. But that is not a right protected by the Federal Government, by statute or otherwise, in a situation where a private employer has prescribed regulations governing the grooming of its employees while in that employer's service." [Go to Quote]
Hines v. Caston School Corp., 651 N.E.2d 330 (5th Ct.App. Indiana 1995)
Comm v. Bishop, 296 Mass. 459, 6 N.E. 2d 389 (1937)
84 Harv.L.Rev. 1702
55 Iowa L.Rev. 707
NSBA Article (1995)
A summary article on School Dress codes.