The city of Pasadena will not fight an appellate court ruling over its election system, a decision that will allow the upcoming May council elections to proceed with eight-single member district seats, according to the lead attorney for the city in the closely watched voting rights case. The elections will proceed under the district format and will not using six neighborhood council and two at-large seats, a system a district judge ruled was discriminatory against Latino voters. The city, through its attorneys, sought a stay of Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal’s order, but the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of appeals upheld the order.
The city will continue to appeal the judge’s ruling, which also ordered Pasadena to again obtain preclearance from the U.S. Department of Justice before making additional changes to its election system.
Pasadena changed the election system shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out key provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act, including the requirement for preclearance in Texas and other sttes with a history of discrimination.