SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com ) — An Orange County Superior Court judge will allow a lawsuit claiming the elections process in the city of Anaheim leads to under-representation of Latinos on the City Council.
KNX 1070′s Ron Kilgore reports Latino residents were cheering the decision from Judge Franz Miller.
Miller set a trial date of March 17, 2014 for the lawsuit after attorneys for the city of Anahei argued at a hearing Tuesday that the lawsuit should continue to be on hold until the next City Council election because council members earlier this month approved a new elections process.
The lawsuit, filed in June of last year, alleges that the city’s voting system violates the California Voting Rights Act by inherently discriminating against the city’s Latino residents.
After the City Council moved forward on its plan to enact a modified at-large voting system – which requires that council members live in districts and thus be elected by residents city-wide – community activists rallied outside the council chambers.
Los Amigos of Orange County president and Anaheim resident Jose Moreno was among those celebrating the judge’s ruling.
“We’re gonna have our day in court, that we’ll be able to show the evidence that suggests for us that we have a currently illegal and unconstitutional voting system in Anaheim,” Moreno said.
Miller is expected to consider arguments on Oct. 1 on the city’s attempts to have the ACLU’s lawsuit dismissed.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)