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9th Circuit judge replacing Ezra in Furlough Friday suit


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POSTED: Saturday, October 31, 2009

U.S. District Judge David Ezra will not hear the lawsuits attempting to stop Furlough Fridays in the public schools.

Instead, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Wallace Tashima assigned Ezra as a special master to help resolve the case outside court, according to attorneys Carl Varady, Susan Dorsey and Stan Levin, who have filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of disabled children seeking to stop the furloughs.

Tashima, a Clinton appointee to the appeals court, will decide the preliminary injunction motions as a visiting judge. That hearing, which had been scheduled for Tuesday, will now be held Nov. 9.

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All other federal judges in Hawaii had a connection with the public schools and had recused themselves.

Ezra presided over the Felix v. Waihee lawsuit, which led to federal court oversight over public education services for special-needs children in Hawaii.

“;Having a highly experienced judge who knows the issues and has dealt with these difficult questions in detail for two decades will be of great benefit to the parties and the possibility of settlement,”; Varady said in a news release.