Shelby County schools vote lawsuit back in court

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A vote that changes the landscape of public education in Tennessee's largest county may be thrown out by a federal judge presiding over a lawsuit challenging the vote's constitutionality.

U.S. District Judge Samuel "Hardy" Mays has scheduled a trial to begin Tuesday in a lawsuit that seeks to invalidate an Aug. 2 vote by suburban residents who approved referendums to form separate public school districts in six Shelby County municipalities.

Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington want to break away and avoid the merger between the struggling, majority-black Memphis school system and the more successful, majority-white Shelby County district.

Shelby County Commissioners sued to stop the vote. Mays said during a hearing before the election that it was preferable to nullify a vote later rather than stop an election.

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