A federal judge yesterday abruptly dismissed a Louisville lawyer's demand that Jefferson County Public Schools leaders be held in contempt and jailed unless they could prove students weren't still being denied a school choice because of race.
In a sharply worded ruling, Chief U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II chastised attorney Teddy Gordon, who successfully challenged Jefferson County's student-assignment policy.
"Defendants need not respond to such an outrageous motion, couched in such unprofessional language," Heyburn wrote in a ruling that was issued before school district lawyers even had a chance to respond.
This week, Gordon filed a motion asking that an estimated 2,800 Jefferson County students assigned for the 2007-08 school year be given the option to attend different schools because they had been denied their school choice because of race.
Gordon argued that failing to do so violated the Supreme Court ruling, and he asked that school board members and administrators be held in contempt.
Heyburn ruled yesterday that Gordon and his client, Louisville parent Crystal Meredith, may disagree with the district's stance that it has taken steps to comply with the ruling -- dropping the use of race in assigning new and transfer students, but not making changes for students who were assigned before the ruling.
But he said they need to file an appropriate motion to make their case.
"Calling for contempt citations and incarceration of individual school board members and administrators will not advance the resolution of any legitimate concerns," Heyburn ruled, adding that the court would "gladly set an immediate hearing to discuss any future valid motions that require attention." ...
This from the Courier-Journal.