Judge Rejects Suit Challenging Louisiana Board of Regents

April 13, 2011

A state judge has thrown out a lawsuit by supporters of Southern University at New Orleans, challenging the right of the Louisiana Board of Regents to take actions while lacking minority members, The Baton Rouge Advocate reported. The suit was an attempt to block the board from recommending a merger of historically black Southern-New Orleans with the University of New Orleans. Since the suit was filed, Governor Bobby Jindal -- an advocate for merger -- has appointed a minority member to the board, which has recommended a consolidation plan for the two institutions. The lawsuit was based on a provision in Louisiana's Constitution calling for the board to reflect the diversity of Louisiana.

Judge Tim Kelley ruled that there was nothing illegal about the board operating without that diversity reflected. "The issue is what’s legal," the judge ruled. "No matter how morally wrong, how offensive to your citizens, how damaging to this state’s commitment to eliminate perceived prejudice and injustice, nor how politically ill-advised and damaging, both in short term and in long term, it’s not this court’s job to tell the governor how to do his job."

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