On January 7, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in Ferguson-Florissant School District v. Missouri Conference of NAACP. This case involves the Ferguson-Florissant School District (“FFSD”), a St. Louis area school district created after a 1975 desegregation order required the original FFSD to annex two neighboring school districts “to achieve a meaningful desegregation” within one unified district. United States v. Missouri, 515 F.2d 1365, 1366 (8th Cir. 1975) (en banc).
This lawsuit challenged FFSD’s method of electing school board members. The suit alleged that the at-large, popular vote, system, in which people only vote once for a candidate, was racially biased against African-American candidates. This lawsuit was originally filed in 2014, when six of the seven school board members were Caucasian, even though about four-fifths of FFSD’s student population was African-American and approximately fifty percent of its voting age population was African-American.