Appeals court upholds dismissal of loan lawsuit

PIERRE, S.D.

 A federal appeals court has refused to reinstate a lawsuit that sought to strike down a law that denies federal financial aid to college students convicted of drug offenses.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of students who lost eligibility for college loans. It argued the law amounts to double jeopardy because it subjects students to a second criminal punishment after they have already served a court-imposed sentence.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the temporary loss of student loans is not a second criminal punishment.

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