DALLAS (AP) – A federal judge in Dallas has told a suburb that had targeted illegal immigrants through city ordinances to move ahead with new single-member city council districts that could elect the city’s first Hispanic council member.
The Dallas Morning News reports that U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater’s move followed his earlier ruling that Farmers Branch had violated the Voting Rights Act. The Justice Department approved the city’s remedy, a proposed map that moves from city-wide council elections to the single-member districts.
The city has spent about $6 million in legal fees defending an ordinance that would bar illegal immigrants from rental housing. Some Hispanic residents followed with a lawsuit alleging the city’s at-large election system discriminated against Hispanics.
The candidate filing period for the election ends March 1.