The U.S. District Court in D.C. today confirmed that Beaumont Independent School District “rightly concluded that In re Rodriguez and its companion In re Neil have no application to future elections, its petition for a declaratory judgment granting preclearance for ‘those voting changes occasioned by the decision of the Ninth Court of Appeals.’” The court dismissed the issues regarding the May election changes as MOOT.
According to BISD Attorney Melody Chappell, the ruling clearly approves of the school district holding a November 2013 election with the seats currently held by trustees Gwen Ambres, Janice Brassard and Tom Neild. “Only these three seats will be up for election in November, allowing trustees Woodrow Reece, Terry Williams, Zenobia Bush and Michael Neil to complete their current terms which end in 2015,” Chappell explained. BISD intends to open a new candidate filing period prior to the November election.
The court’s ruling, which may be viewed in its entirety on the BISD website site, stated “Nothing in Rodriguez contemplates the cancellation of the May election or attempts to govern the conduct of a contest held at a later date. Rather, that decision works out the consequences of three BISD actions—the December 27 notice, and the February 21 and March 8 orders—in the context of a rapidly approaching election. Each of those actions has been overtaken by events. BISD has cancelled the May election and called for a new election to be held in November. It has decided that three Board seats will be open in that election, and that four trustees— Mr. Neil and the three who the Rodriguez plaintiffs hope to replace—will serve until their terms expire in 2015.”