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Friday, August 8, 2014

8th Circuit declares Blytheville school transfer case moot

Posted By on Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals today ruled moot a preliminary injunction request challenging the Blytheville School District's decision to opt out of the 2013 Arkansas school transfer law because of its past desegregation litigation.

The 2013 law made interdistrict transfers easy. Parents in Blytheville applied for transfers to neighboring schools, but the School Board decided to opt out of the law for the 2013-14 school year on account of past desegregation legal action in the district. The parents wanted the federal court to rescind the resolution, but the school year has now been completed. The parents asked that the district be enjoined anyway because the school district might again bar transfers in the coming school year.

The 8th Circuit, however, said this lawsuit request was moot because the court filing was limited to the 2013-14 school year. Judge Steven Colloton commented, however:

Although the question is close, I concur in the judgment on the ground that while this controversy is “capable of repetition” in relation to the 2014-15 school year, the controversy need not “evade review” if the plaintiffs seek prompt rulings in the district court and expedited appellate review on claims for preliminary injunctive or permanent injunctive and declaratory relief

The school board voted in April to again invoke the opt-out for 2014-15. The attorney in the case decided today has been working in behalf of the school transfer movement all over Arkansas and so it seems likely that this legal action will start anew.

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