Today the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Trudy Nolles v. The State Committee, U.S. Court of Appeals Case No: 06-4093 (Appeal from  District of Nebraska – Omaha). In Nolles, Nebraska voters had brought a civil rights action challenging the “the State Committee’s” and others implementation of Legislative Bill 126 concerning the merger of certain school districts in Nebraska (i.e. the elimination of the smallest classification of schools in Nebraska).

The 8th Circuit affirmed the dismissal by the District Court in Omaha finding that the plaintiffs failed to allege a personalized injury and thus they lacked standing to assert a substantive due process claim; that the plaintiffs also failed to alleged a particularized injury and lacked standing to bring a procedural due process claim; and that plaintiffs were in privity with other plaintiffs who brought a state court challenge to the school consolidation bill and that therefore the district court properly applied the doctrine of res judicata to preclude the Nolles’ plaintiffs right-to-vote claims.

Jeanelle R. Lust