Protestors claim "We're under attack" at Jefferson County courth - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Protestors claim "We're under attack" at Jefferson County courthouse

Posted: Updated:
BEAUMONT -

About 100 hundred protestors gathered at the Jefferson County Courthouse, Tuesday, in opposition of the recent SCOTUS ruling which struck down Sect. 4 of the Voting Rights Act.

The ruling is likely to have heavy impact on the Beaumont Independent School District. In 2011, voters approved changing the makeup of the school board from 7 single district members to 5 single district members and 2 at-large seats. A map was drawn but was shot down by the Department of Justice.

Based on the SCOTUS ruling, entities like BISD who have had to go through pre-clearance with the DOJ may not have to do so anymore.

Critics of the protest say a second reason is a motion before the 9th court of appeals arguing that the court enforce it's order that all 7 board seats be up for re-election after redistricting.

If that ruling stands, three trustees would lose their seats in a November election: Woodrow Reece, Terry Williams and Zenobia Bush. They did not file to run because back in March they didn't believe they were up for re-election.

But three people did file to run: Linda Gilmore, Donna Forgas and Marcelino Rodriquez. Since Reece, Williams and Bush missed the deadline, the three others would automatically take their spots on the board.

At Tuesday's rally downtown, those who spoke to the crowd said this is manipulation of minority voting.

Members of the crowd spoke saying "We're under attack." Beaumont resident and rally organizer, Paul Jones, tells 12News minorities are under attack with the recent ruling because minorities feel they will not be fairly represented.

School board president, Woodrow Reece, told the crowd that BISD passed a $389 million bond. He said "We did this black and white and at the end of the day, the whites wanted to pull out. They (a group that supports the 5-2 plan) just want power. I'm not giving them power."

Board trustee Zenobia Bush also spoke to the crowd saying "I'm tired of being sick and tired. We're tired of it and we're not going to take it anymore."

Jones says the purpose of the protest was to raise awareness that everyone needs to write their local representatives about voting rights.

There were several people who support the 5-2 plan in attendance.

Attorney Michael Truncale tells 12News "We need to preserve our constitutional right. One person, one vote. We believe in the rule of law and it's the rule of law that has protected these fine people all these years."

The Beaumont ISD school district has until FRiday to respond to the 9th Court of Appeals.

The district must justify, by Friday, how it is going to abide by the court's previous order.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Three more defendants plead guilty in 2013 Tyler Motel murder

    Three more defendants plead guilty in 2013 Tyler Motel murder

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:27 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:27:00 GMT
    Three defendants in a 2013 murder pleaded guilty and avoided a trial Friday.More >>
    Three defendants in a 2013 murder pleaded guilty and avoided a trial Friday.More >>
  • Report: Flint girl's hot car death accidental, dad drug-free

    Report: Flint girl's hot car death accidental, dad drug-free

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:24 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:24:35 GMT
    Russel Lindstrom, charged with manslaughter in the hot car death of his young daughter was in court Friday morning for a bond-reduction hearing.More >>
    Russel Lindstrom, charged with manslaughter in the hot car death of his young daughter was in court Friday morning for a bond-reduction hearing.More >>
  • Web Exclusive: New law on inheriting online accounts

    Web Exclusive: New law on inheriting online accounts

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-08-22 13:51:58 GMT
    When someone dies, often their online identity dies as well. A new law in one state, however, is looking to change that.  Think about all of the online footprints and accounts you've made.More >>
    When someone dies, often their online identity dies as well. A new law in one state, however, is looking to change that.  Think about all of the online footprints and accounts you've made.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.