Judge Throws Out Legal Challenge to the Merger of Historically Black Southern University With the University of New Orleans

A Louisiana judge has dismissed a lawsuit which sought to prevent the merger of historically black Southern University of New Orleans with the predominantly white University of New Orleans. The suit had been filed by former Congressman Cleo Fields on behalf of black students at Southern University. The suit claimed that the Louisiana board of regents was not legitimate because at the time of the decision to move forward with the merger, all of its members were white. Governor Bobby Jindal, who supports the merger of the two universities, has since appointed an African American to the board of regents.

The court ruled that the governor could appoint an all-white board regardless of whether it was “morally, politically, or ethically right.” The judge stated that “It is not the court’s job to tell the governor how to do his job.”

The merger must be approved by a two-thirds votes of the state legislature which will convene next week.