Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819) stands out not only because it was the U.S. Supreme Court’s first case dealing with a dispute involving education but also because it provided constitutional protections for private contracts, albeit in an educational context.
Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (2006) concerned a constitutional challenge to the Solomon Amendment, a modification in a federal statute that required the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to deny funding to institutions of higher education that refused to give military representatives access and assistance for recruiting purposes.
In National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) v. Tarkanian (1988), the U.S. Supreme Court held that threatened NCAA sanctions against the head basketball coach of a public university did not constitute state action, even though the university was a member of the NCAA, and thus the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s
actions did not violate the coach’s civil rights.
Grove City College v. Bell (1984) stands out as a dispute in which the U.S. Supreme Court restricted the application of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 at a private college that accepted no direct federal funding on its own but had large number of students who received federally funded grants.
College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board (1999) is a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with the ability of Congress to exact waivers of sovereign immunity.
In Central Virginia Community College v. Katz (2006), the U.S. Supreme Court held that Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity, which protects states and their agencies from litigation, did not bar adversarial proceedings brought by a Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee to set aside alleged preferential payments that operators of a bankrupt bookstore made to public institutions of higher education.