Judge: Ferguson-Florissant School District elections biased

Aug 22, 2016

Credit KBIA

  A federal judge has ruled that the process of electing board members for a school district that includes Ferguson, Missouri, is biased against black voters and must be revised before another election occurs.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Sippel's ruling came seven months after he presided over the trial in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The lawsuit, filed soon after the August 2014 fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, alleged the Ferguson-Florissant School District's practice of selecting board members at large makes it more difficult for black candidates to win and violates the Voting Rights Act.

Sippel ruled that long-standing discrimination has hurt efforts by blacks to "participate equally in the political process."

School district attorney Cindy Ormsby says the district is considering an appeal.