Mr. Gittins tried to block the Allen board from meeting, arguing that the midshipmen's Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination and right to an attorney were violated during the investigation.
But government lawyers successfully argued that, because the honor process is an "administrative" rather than criminal hearing, those rights do not apply. Mr. Gittins said yesterday he would meet with his clients to see if any are interested in pursuing the case.
Meanwhile, Navy defense lawyers also have raised similar constitutional concerns with top Pentagon officials and are awaiting a response.
"The Navy Academy's objective has always been a complete and fair resolution of these cases," Admiral Lynch, the current superintendent, said in a statement yesterday. "In recent months, the faculty, staff and midshipmen have moved forward to reaffirm our commitment to character development."
The cheating scandal involved an electrical engineering exam given Dec. 14, 1992, to 663 juniors. Of the 134 midshipmen suspected of cheating, 106 cases were found serious enough to require hearings before the officers' panel.
* 29 were recommended for expulsion.
* 35 were exonerated.
* 42 were retained and their punishment will be decided by the academy.