Federal judge moving forward with school lawsuit case - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Federal judge moving forward with school lawsuit case

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Germantown and Collierville called meetings Friday after word a federal judge in Memphis called his own emergency meeting that could cancel the upcoming vote on municipal schools. Germantown and Collierville called meetings Friday after word a federal judge in Memphis called his own emergency meeting that could cancel the upcoming vote on municipal schools.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Germantown and Collierville called meetings Friday after word a federal judge in Memphis called his own emergency meeting that could cancel the upcoming vote on municipal schools.

Federal Judge Hardy Mays has been mediating the battle over the merger of Memphis and Shelby County schools.

Voters in the suburbs are scheduled to begin voting in a week on whether to form their own districts.

However, a federal judge could make that decision for them before they ever get to cast their ballots.

Early voting on a referendum that would allow Memphis suburbs to form their own school districts begins in one week.

But in the 11th hour, a federal judge could delay or cancel the vote.

Last week, Shelby County Commissioner Walter Bailey voted in favor of the commission suing the state to block the referendum on next week's ballot.

Now, Judge Mays has scheduled a status conference for Monday with attorneys on both sides of the lawsuit.

The meeting will allow the judge to get a sense of how long the case will take so that he can schedule the case, said Bailey.

But the clock is counting down to the August 2 election. Early voting begins on Friday, July 13. That means time is running out for county commissioners whose lawsuit contends that the election is unconstitutional.

Bailey also sees municipal school districts as a racial setback.

"It's geared toward creating segregated school districts, that is predominantly white districts out there as we see it," he said.

But it's up to a federal judge to make the ultimate decision and that decision that could come within days.

Judge Mays will meet with attorneys from both sides on Monday at 5 p.m.

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