J.D. challenged the search policy. A district court upheld the search even though it was conducted without "individualized suspicion" of wrongdoing as the Supreme Court had required in the 1985 T.L.O. case. But the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit disagreed. It ruled that by conducting a random suspicionless search, the school had unreasonably invaded students' legitimate expectations of privacy (which, though limited, do exist), and therefore violated their Fourth Amendment rights.
(The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has jurisdiction over Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota as well as Arkansas.)
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
After students began wearing the plain black quarter-inch wide armbands in early October 2006, school officials announced that anyone who did so would be suspended from school for three days. Twenty students received suspensions, and more than ten others were disciplined in other ways. Some students were sent to the library where two uniformed and armed police officers and a sheriff's deputy "appeared to be in charge," according to a student affidavit. The ACLU went to federal court on behalf of three students. After the federal judge issued a preliminary order blocking the school district from punishing students who wear the black armbands to school, school officials and students agreed that the bands would be worn but only on wrists. Other students had not been punished when they wore black wristbands bearing the words "Watson Chapel" which were sold by the school.