Higher education has become increasingly embroiled in legislation, regulation, and litigation. Although much has been written about Supreme Court decisions involving higher education, little has been said about the foundational college case law and litigation patterns emerging in the lower courts. From faculty and student freedom of speech to race or religion-based admissions policies, campuses have become testing grounds for a host of constitutional challenges. Suing Alma Mater describes the key issues and processes at play in higher education law.
Eminent legal scholar Michael A. Olivas considers the history of litigation in the latter half of the twentieth century and the rise of "purposive organizations"—the American Civil Liberties Union and the Alliance Defense Fund—that exist to advance litigation. He gives a comprehensive and thorough review of more than 120 college cases brought before the U.S. Supreme Court in the last 50 years. Olivas then dives deeply into six cases that did not go to the Supreme Court and offers a clear-eyed perspective of the legal issues facing higher education today.