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South Texas College of Law is continuing to battle to maintain an affiliation with Texas A&M University. The executive committee of the board of the Houston-based law school on March 21 authorized an appeal of a December 2000 ruling by Austin’s 3rd Court of Appeals in Texas A&M and South Texas College of Law v. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. With a 2-1 vote, a panel of the appeals court found the affiliation between the state university and the private law school violated the Texas Constitution and the Texas Education Code. South Texas’ appeal to the Supreme Court comes after the lower court rejected a motion for rehearing filed by the schools. “It was a case in which there was a dissent,” says South Texas lawyer Douglas Alexander, a partner in Scott Douglass & McConnico in Austin, Texas. “We’re going to be arguing the dissent got it right and the majority got it wrong and the affiliation should be held valid.” A&M’s attorney, Marcy Hogan Greer, a senior associate with Fulbright & Jaworski in Austin, says A&M officials are analyzing the issues. South Texas and A&M announced the affiliation with much fanfare in 1998, but 201st District Judge Suzanne Covington of Austin voided it. The appeals court upheld her ruling, holding that allowing the agreement to stand without approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board deprives the board of its authority.

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