Newspaper does not have to produce commenters' IDs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A judge has ruled that a Memphis newspaper does not have to release identifying information about readers who commented on stories related to the reorganization of Shelby County's schools.

The Commercial Appeal reports that the ruling Thursday by U.S. District Judge Samuel Mays rejects the Shelby County Commission's motion to force the newspaper to produce the identities of online commenters to 45 stories by The Commercial Appeal that ran between Nov. 19, 2010, and July 12.

The commission claimed that the comments could help them prove that state laws enabling new municipal school districts in suburban Shelby County were motivated at least in part by racially discriminatory intent.

Mays wrote that the information would not be relevant to a lawsuit challenging the creation of the six new school districts.

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