And speaking of wrinkles -- UPDATED | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 6, 2007

And speaking of wrinkles -- UPDATED

Posted By on Mon, Aug 6, 2007 at 4:03 PM

It looks like mediation of the Little Rock school desegregation case is off, maybe for good. John Martin, settlement director for the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, has told lawyers in the case he had decided to cancel Thursday's scheduled session.

According to Chris Heller, the School Board's attorney, a brief letter from Martin to attorneys said "upon rflection of the lengthy litigation and current circumstances" he had decided to cancel the mediation sessions. He surged the parties to "explore other options as they see fit."

I haven't been able to reach Martin, but a court official said Martin had told him he cancelled after the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette had inquired whether mediation sessions would be open to the public. 

John Walker, who's been promoting mediation as a way of resolving his appeal of the finding that the district had achieved unitary, or desegregated, status, had originally proposed a private mediation involving members of the school board. State law wouldn't allow such private sessions and there's some question whether federal law would allow private mediation involving public officials.

A larger issue than the privacy of the negotiations may simply have been Martin's recognition of the curious nature of the mediation. As one observer put it: "It's John Walker negotiating with John Walker." Walker wants an agreement on continued monitoring of educational process. A majority of the School Board, often responsive to Walker's wishes, has ordered the mediation, presumably to produce an outcome somewhat in line with what he recommends. Heller had recommended against a settlement of a case that the district has won and said the district had ample ways to make commitments on equity without entering a contractual relationship with Walker. He said he was prepared to reiterate that argument at Thursday night's School Board meeting.

There's nothing to stop the School Board, presumably, from unliterally adopting what Walker asks. We could hope that the Board would wait until after the Sept. 18 school board election to make such a momentous decision. But this School Board majority would probably respond that the gang in charge in 2006 probably should have waited until after the election for the vote on the expensive decision to extend the now-departing Superintendent Roy Brooks' contract.

And so it goes.

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Trump launches attack on 'SOBs' of the NFL

    Donald Trump led a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange Friday night and the resulting news coverage (if not in our local newspaper) is giving great attention for his rant against the NFL, including but not limited to players who have made political statements by taking a knee during the National Anthem.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Driver killed in crash with Maumelle officer

    Maumelle police report the death early this morning of a motorist who crashed head-on with a Maumelle police officer. The officer and two passengers in the other vehicle were injured.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Walmart lawyer picked for U.S. attorney in western Arkansas

    Donald Trump has nominated Duane "Dak" Kees,  director of global ethics and compliance at Walmart Stores, to be U.S. attorney for the western district of Arkansas. It has been filled on an interim basis by a career lawyer in the office.
    • Sep 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

  • Trump launches attack on 'SOBs' of the NFL

    Donald Trump led a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange Friday night and the resulting news coverage (if not in our local newspaper) is giving great attention for his rant against the NFL, including but not limited to players who have made political statements by taking a knee during the National Anthem.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation