MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Think of the trees - all those trees that have paid the ultimate price. Chopped down they were, pulverized and made into paper to be used in a Shelby County trial on municipal school constitutionality. “This is a pretty novel case,” says Memphis City Council lawyer Allan Wade. “It is fairly complex in terms of the Tennessee Constitution issues. Judge (Samuel) Mays is very deliberate in making sure he doesn’t miss anything and he wants a full record.”
Samuel Mays was known as “Hardy” when he worked for former Governor Don Sundquist. Once the robes go on, he’s Judge Mays, who must plow through mountains of motions and hours of video of the Tennessee General Assembly. He’ll need a lot of No Doze for that.
Lawyers in the case had been getting along pretty well, right up until the final witness. People started objecting over everything at that point, so Judge Mays delayed the hearing for two weeks.
Meanwhile the municipal school process continues. Ballots for the November Presidential election will go out in two weeks to members of the military. On those ballots will be names of people running for the various school boards for the municipal school systems. “We would like to have an expedited resolution,” Wade says. Judge Mays has said if he finds the school law unconstitutional, he has no trouble throwing everything out, even the votes. “We have a lot of confidence that he means what he says,” Wade says.
The lawyers on both sides of this case have publicly praised the way Judge Mays is handling the case. Of course, one of the first things they teach little lawyers at law school is, don’t hack the judge off.
It appears now that come September 20 when the hearing resumes, there will be one witness, a lot of questions, and that might be all she wrote. “I’m not even sure there are going to be closing arguments,” Allan Wade said. “I think what he usually does is allow the parties to submit what his ruling should be in writing.”
I think they’re going to need more trees.