A federal judge today brusquely dismissed a request by a BPS lawyer for more time to argue why he shouldn't re-open the exam-school case, because the parents in the case have raised serious legal questions he needs answers to now, or more specifically, by this coming Tuesday, the date he had originally set for her to respond to the parent group's request.
The attorney, Kay Hodge, says she needs the extra time because she is also representing the Boston Police Department in a federal discrimination case brought by G. Renee Payne-Callender, a Black woman detective, which is scheduled to start trial on July 13 and she's up to her ears already with that case and just doesn't have enough time to substantively reply to the group's motion.
Not my problem, US District Court Judge William Young replied today. In bolded text, he denied her request and told her he'll see her on July 9 for a hearing to discuss the request and her reply:
Motion denied. The Plaintiffs' Rule 60b motion [to re-open the case] raises profound and most serious allegations - potentially fraud on the Court. It must be addressed via a detailed written explanation (preferably accompanied by affidavits) and an oral hearing - and soon.
Judges require extraordinary reasons to re-open cases they've already decided, in this case that the examless system the School Committee approved to select students for the city's three exam schools this fall was not racially biased.
The parents group says its found such a reason in those "Westie Whites" text messages two School Committee members exchanged during the October meeting at which the plan was approved. Although the parents had filed a public-records request for all committee text messages during the meeting, they say those exchanges were withheld - and that they only found out about them after the court rulings when the Globe published them.
Hodge had asked for a delay until at least Aug. 17, because of the police-discrimination trial:
The trial, estimated by the plaintiff in that case to last at least two weeks, has and will continue to involve extensive trial preparations. The undersigned has simply been unable - and will continue to be unable until at least the trial’s end - to comprehensively review and analyze Plaintiff’s motion and arguments and then research and prepare an appropriate response thereto.
Hodge wrote that the NAACP agreed to her request and that even the parents group agreed to a delay, but to just July 26.