U.S. court rejects plea to rehear Worcester suit

October 15, 1994

A federal appeals court has rejected Worcester County's petition to rehear a lawsuit challenging the county's voting method.

The rejection by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in dTC Richmond, Va., reported yesterday, leaves in the county commissioners' laps what to do next about a lower court's order that they change how countians elect commissioners to give more equitable treatment to black candidates.

Commissioners said yesterday they will consider what to do at their next meeting Oct. 25.

"I think the majority are in favor of appealing it to the Supreme Court," said John Bloxom, one of five commissioners. "It's a matter of principle."

But James Purnell, president of the NAACP's Worcester County chapter and one seeking a voting change, said such an appeal would be "fruitless."

American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Deborah Jeon, handling the case, said: "They can try the Supreme Court. I think having 15 or 16 federal judges tell you your resistance is unlawful would be enough."

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