U.S. District Court Judge George Howard has denied a request by rural school supporters to halt state-ordered administrative consolidation. The request was part of a federal lawsuit filed last week. The suit claims that voting rights have been violated in districts slated for consolidation. The merger plans call for previous school board elections to be set aside and new board members chosen to represent merged areas. In a small district like Plainview-Rover, plaintiffs in the case are dismayed but not discouraged by Howards ruling. Theyre willing to wait for a full hearing on the issue. Clerks for Howard say no such hearing has been put on the calendar as of yet.