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Judge Sets Trial Date for Anaheim Voting Rights Case

gavel1Yesterday, Superior Court Judge Franz Miller, set a March 17, 2014 trial date for the Anaheim Voting Rights discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU on behalf of Anaheim Latino activists who claim that the current at-large system of electing city council members violates the California Voting Rights Act by suppressing the ability of Latinos to be elected in a city that is 53% Latino by population in favor a a wealthy and predominantly whit segment of Anaheim voters.

The City’s attorneys tried to argue that the current proposal by the City Council to place a ballot measure before the voters in June of next year to require council members to reside in a specific district but be elected by the city as a whole, would address the concerns raised in the lawsuit. As activists expected, the city argued that Judge Miller wait and see what the voters do in June before taking action. Judge miller didn’t agree and Latino activists will have their day in court, hopefully in time to affect the November 2014 election of council members.

Both sides are expected in court in October for a hearing on various motions, but at this point, the trial is set for March.

Voice of OC has a good wrap-up of yesterday’s hearing here.