Posted: Jun 23, 2014 9:03 PM
Updated: Jun 23, 2014 9:03 PM
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) An outside judge has ruled that a colleague can keep presiding over Texas' long-running school finance trial, blocking state attempts to oust him because of perceived bias.
San Antonio-based David Peeples ruled Monday that fellow state District Judge John Dietz won't be removed from a case that began in 2012.
Texas asked Dietz to recuse himself because of what it called favoritism in emails he exchanged with attorneys representing school districts suing the state.
Dietz refused and the matter went to Peeples, who held a hearing last week.
More than 600 school districts sued, saying $5.4 billion in classroom cuts the Legislature made in 2011 violated the Texas Constitution.
Dietz last year found the cuts unconstitutional but briefly reopened the case in January. He's yet to issue a final ruling.