Superior Court Judge Franz Miller has lifted the stay on the ACLU lawsuit claiming Anaheim’s at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act and seeking to impose on the city a single-member council district system (that no one outside of a small. vocal faction of political interests has asked for). basically, he is allowing the lawsuit to move forward.
The city had sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, which the judge obviously turned down, and has set a March 17, 2014 trial date for the ACLU’s litigation on behalf of Anaheim City School District Trustee Jose F. Moreno, Latino activist Amin David and another plaintiff.
Keep in mind that under the ordinance adopted by the City Council a few weeks ago to shift to a residency-based districts system of elections, those four residency-based districts must be drawn and approved by March 1.
It’s my understanding (for which I’m seeking further confirmation) that Judge Miller felt it may be premature to continue a stay on the ACLU lawsuit based on the City Council voting to replace the system being litigated by the ACLU with the new, residency-based district system — at least without a full hearing.
Judge Miller did set an October 1 hearing to hear motions to stay the lawsuit or dismiss it.
I wasn’t at today’s hearing and didn’t hear the arguments or the judge’s comments. Obviously, from the perspective of those of us opposing the Left’s attempt to carve up Anaheim, today’s decision was not the preferred outcome. At the same time, neither is it defeat. Contrary to certain Vichy gadfly-types who opposed districts before they supported them but want to run-up the white flag because they are afraid of the possibility of the city writing a check to the ACLU, the better course for the city to fight it out because the city is in the right.