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State Superintendent of Education John White makes a point while speaking at the annual meeting of Jump Start, which allows high school students to get workforce training in addition to regular academic classes, Tuesday Jan. 23, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La.

A new bid to oust state Superintendent of Education John White was rejected by 19th Judicial District Court Judge Todd Hernandez.

In a two-page ruling, Hernandez, of Baton Rouge, said critics of the superintendent who filed the lawsuit did not have the legal standing to do so. "Therefore, the court finds that the plaintiffs do not have a right of action to bring this suit," he wrote.

A similar effort to remove White failed in 2017 for the same reason.

In that case, District Judge William Morvant ruled that only Gov. John Bel Edwards, Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, Attorney General Jeff Landry or East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III could bring a challenge of White's status.

State Sen. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport, a longtime critic of White, was the attorney for the plaintiffs in the previous and latest court actions.

Hernandez did not rule on the merits of the challenge.

White, who has been superintendent since 2012, is paid $275,000 per year.

He operates on a month-to-month contract because neither backers nor critics of White have the needed eight votes on the 11-member BESE to extend his contract or fire him.

Critics contend that, since a new BESE board was elected in 2015, White has not been reappointed by BESE or faced new confirmation hearings in the state Senate and the post should be vacated.

Edwards and White have been at odds on education issues for years, and the governor last year expressed interest in the lawsuit about the superintendent's tenure.

"As I understand the law, he needed to be re-confirmed in order to continue to serve," said Edwards, himself an attorney.

"We are looking at that situation," he said. "He is not under contract, so we are looking at that.

"But it may be something that has to be litigated," Edwards said last year.

The governor, who named three BESE members, has not initiated any legal action aimed at removing White.

Backers are closer to gaining the two-thirds majority needed for a contract extension than opponents are to firing him.

White is the fifth longest-serving state superintendent, according to a December tally.

White declined comment.

In a statement, Milkovich said his clients respectfully disagree with the Hernandez ruling and will review their legal options.

"We still maintain that citizens have a legal right to bring suit for a declaration of law recognizing that Mr. White has no lawful authority to remain in office," he said.

He also said the fact White is still on the job "is an affront to self-government, democratic principles and the rule of law."

Milkovich, vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee, has long criticized White for his support of the Common Core academic standards.

The ruling was issued on Jan. 29.

Follow Will Sentell on Twitter, @WillSentell.