Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Court to Rule If Plaintiffs Can 'Opt Out' of Mississippi Desegretation Suit

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Court to Rule If Plaintiffs Can 'Opt Out' of Mississippi Desegretation Suit

Article excerpt

U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. has some unfinished business before he rules on the proposed settlement in Mississippi's long-running college desegregation case.

Can some of the plaintiffs in the 26-year-old case, including the widow of the man who filed the suit, separate themselves from those who want to accept the $503 million settlement?

A clerk for Biggers said earlier this month the judge will schedule a hearing in the next couple of weeks for the dissatisfied plaintiffs. They include Lillie Ayers, whose late husband, Jake Ayers, filed suit in 1975 challenging discrepancies in programs and funding at the state's five predominantly White universities and its three historically Black colleges.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that the state still had segregated universities, and Biggers is overseeing efforts to desegregate them.

The judge spent three days earlier this month hearing the pros and cons of the proposed agreement, reached this spring after about a year of intense negotiation, in his Oxford courtroom.

Alvin Chambliss, a Texas Southern law professor and former lead attorney for the Ayers plaintiffs, said earlier this month that nationally known defense attorney Johnnie Cochran will assist Lillie Ayers in the "opt out" hearing. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.