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Missouri Supreme Court Upholds School Takeover

(CN) - A lower court did not violate citizens' right to vote by transferring control of the St. Louis Public School District to a state-appointed board after the district lost accreditation, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled.

The ousted board members filed an appeal with 29 complaints, all of which a trial court found to lack merit.

The ousted board members appealed again, claiming establishment of the state-appointed board violated voters' rights, infringed on the elected board members' due process and may have been constitutional.

The state Supreme Court unanimously sided with the trial court.

"Even if the reduced powers could be considered a de facto removal from office, because the powers of the office were limited prior to the board members' elections, the limitation of the city board's powers by operation of statute does not amount to a post-hoc nullification of the right to vote," the opinion states.

The high court also found that the ousted board members were not denied due process, given the school district's lack of accreditation, and that the decision to remove the board was within state law.

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