Below is an excerpt from the Hawaii Supreme Court decision.The United States Supreme Court has previously recognized that a person’s reputation is a protected liberty interest under the federal due process clause. Wisconsin v. Constantineau, 400 U.S. 433 (1971) (hereafter “Constantineau”); Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564 (1972) (hereafter “Roth”).In Constantineau, the State of Wisconsin authorized the posting of a notice prohibiting the sale or gift of liquor to any person who “‘by excessive drinking’ produces described conditions or exhibits specified traits, such as exposing himself or family ‘to want’ or becoming ‘dangerous to the peace’ of the community.”
A property interest exists in a benefit made available by a particular statute if a person has a “legitimate claim of entitlement to it.” Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 577 (1972). In addition to statutory sources, property interests can arise from duly promulgated regulations.
There is no support in this Court’s cases for the Ninth Circuit’s conclusion that the prosecutors’ actions in this case deprived Gabbert of a liberty interest in practicing law. See Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 578; Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399. The cases relied upon by the Ninth Circuit or suggested by Gabbert all deal with a complete prohibition of the right to engage in a calling, and not the sort of brief interruption as a result of legal process which occurred here.