D.C. court refuses to intervene in rescheduling of BISD election

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Judges on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Brett M. Kavanaugh, Ellen Segal Huvelle and Rudolph Contreras issued a ruling on multiple requests from the Beaumont Independent School District and the Department of Justice to intervene in any upcoming school board election with a resounding “no” to all case filings.

“Several motions are now ready for the court’s decision,” the D.C. Court’s opinion, issued Aug. 20, read. For starters, “the court need not resolve the question of whether it would have the authority to order a November election as BISD and the United States request, since it DENIES their joint motion for equitable relief.”

According to the written opinion of the court, “Although the cancelation of the May (BISD) election was necessitated by the Voting Rights Act, its rescheduling is a matter of Texas election law, which appears to have sufficient resources to resolve the matter without this court’s involvement.”

New interveners were also mentioned in the court’s opinion.

“The residents who move to intervene intend to seek a remedy under Section 3(c), but that section provides that its remedies are only available in a ‘proceeding instituted by the Attorney General or an aggrieved person under any statute to enforce the guarantees of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment,”’ the opinion noted. “Our case, however, was instituted by BISD as a preclearance action. As the United States has noted in a similar case, any attempt to apply the bail-in provisions of Section 3(c) in this context would, at a minimum, raise a serious ‘statutory construction concern.’

“Moreover, the residents’ intervention motion is predicated on the effects of actions that have not yet been — and may never be — taken by a Texas state court, so any challenge to those future actions is not yet ripe. The court therefore DENIES the residents’ motion to intervene.”

In whole, “Because the Court now lacks jurisdiction to decide BISD’s only remaining claim, the court GRANTS the interveners’ motion to dismiss the case, and DENIES all other pending motions [Dkt. ## 15, 17, 18, 68] as moot.”