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City of Herriman v. Bell

590 F.3d 1176 (10th Cir. 2010)

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City of Herriman v. Bell

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

590 F.3d 1176 (10th Cir. 2010)

Facts

Jordan School District (district) was one of the country’s largest school districts, located in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2007, several cities entered an interlocal agreement with the district to detach from the district. A Utah law provided three ways to create a school district: (1) through a citizen initiative petition; (2) at the request of the board of existing or future districts; or (3) at the request of a city or group of cities within an existing district. Under the first two methods, the proposal was submitted to all voters in the existing district. Under the third method, however, the proposal was only submitted to the residents in the proposed new district. Pursuant to the Utah law, the cities initiated the detachment using the third method. Only residents in the proposed new district were allowed to vote in the election. A group of residents (plaintiffs) in the district but outside the proposed new district, alleged that the Utah law violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution in federal court. Herriman City (city) (plaintiff), also located inside the school district but outside the proposed new district, joined the suit. The court denied the request for injunctive relief. The election occurred in November 2007, and the proposed new district was approved. The residents and the city appealed, arguing that the district court erred in applying a rational-basis review as opposed to a strict-scrutiny analysis.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Tymkovich, J.)

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