Frisco ISD Wins Voting Rights Lawsuit

Aug 04, 2020

Frisco ISD’s system for electing School Board members is both legal and non-discriminatory, a United States District Court judge ruled Tuesday.

Judge Amos L. Mazzant concluded, “Under the totality of the circumstances, FISD’s electoral system does not deny African American, Hispanic, or Asian minority voting populations an equal opportunity to participate in the electoral process or to elect representatives of their choice.”

Members of the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees are elected at-large by the citizens of FISD to three-year, staggered terms. They represent all citizens of the District as opposed to constituents in a specific geographic area.

The civil lawsuit, filed by the legal affiliate Brewer Storefront on behalf of Frisco ISD parent Suresh Kumar in April 2019, claimed FISD’s at-large electoral system violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The lawsuit had proceeded to a bench trial earlier this year before Judge Mazzant in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division.

While Judge Mazzant found Kumar had standing to bring the lawsuit, the Court ultimately found it without merit and dismissed the case. 

“Invidious discrimination must be stomped out in this Nation,” Judge Mazzant wrote in his opinion. “No reasonable argument exists that could support a system that permits such evil. Yet simply because someone claims discrimination exists does not make it so. Ours is a Nation premised upon the rule of law where each citizen is entitled to his or her day in court should they choose to bring forward an allegation. But before that allegation becomes true, that same citizen must carry his or her burden. Here, Kumar received his day in court, but he did not carry his burden. The Court consequently concludes that Frisco ISD’s at-large electoral system does not violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

“Frisco ISD is glad the Court recognized that the District’s at-large election system does not result in discrimination against our minority community members,” said Chad Rudy, president of the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees. “The District’s mission is to know every student by name and need and the at-large system ensures our Board members represent every family in the community. 

“As the Court said, ‘Invidious discrimination must be stomped out in this Nation,’ but the Plaintiff failed to prove any such discrimination as a result of the Frisco ISD election system. We will continue to work hard to serve the needs of every single family in our district, including the members of our minority communities.”

The next Frisco ISD School Board election is Nov. 3. Two places are on the ballot this year, Place 4 and Place 5. Click here for more information about the upcoming election.

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