Ayers v. Thompson

358 F.3d 356 (2004)

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Ayers v. Thompson

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
358 F.3d 356 (2004)

Facts

African American citizens (citizens) (plaintiffs) filed a class-action lawsuit against the state of Mississippi (state) (defendant) to desegregate the state’s higher-education system. The court certified the citizens as a class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2), and the citizens pursued the action, seeking only injunctive and declaratory relief for the class. No separate claims for individual relief were made. After 30 years of litigation, the citizens and the state reached a settlement agreement, which was approved by the district court after a hearing on the fairness of the agreement. Several of the citizens appealed the district court’s approval of the settlement and also moved to opt out of the class so they could seek individual relief. The district court denied the citizens’ motion, and the citizens appealed that ruling as well.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (King, C.J.)

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