MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The downtown fountains across from City Hall are finally working again, just in time for the cooler weather. They’ve been down for repairs all through the blistering summer months. It might not make sense to turn them on now, but this is Memphis. Everything is a battle, especially the one over municipal schools.
The fight is over whether the plan is constitutional or not. You’ll know if it is unconstitutional if you hear the gnashing of teeth from the suburbs. “If the judge agrees that is the case,” says Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy, “he’ll strike down the law. That means the municipal school elections we had this past August are null and void.”
Judge Samuel Mays has made it clear that he’ll have no trouble tossing those election returns out, no matter how big of a landslide municipal school won by in the suburbs. The issue has been swinging over the heads of suburban mayors for months.
In Collierville, more than 80 percent of the voters decided to vote in favor of their town starting their own school system. On election night, all Mayor Stan Joyner could talk about was the court hearing. “Our position over here is guarded optimism,” Mayor Joyner said on the night of August 2. “Judge Mays has said if the law is judged to be unconstitutional, he’ll turn the election over.”
The hearing is slated to begin Tuesday, September 4. Lawyers love to talk, and sometimes asking them how they’re doing means it will result in an answer that will make your hair turn gray. In this case, they’ve informed Judge Mays they’ve got about two days worth of talking in them. The judge has told them not to expect a quick ruling in the case.