- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

HOUSTON (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that the government of a Houston suburb promoted and implemented a voting plan intended to dilute the Latino power at the polls.

In a 113-page ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal in Houston ordered the city of Pasadena to revert to an eight-single-member City Council voting plan used before 2014. That was the year voters narrowly approved a plan that elected six members from districts and two at large.

Aside from restoring the previous voting plan, Rosenthal also said he will supervise the 2017 municipal elections and watch for any efforts to suppress Latino voting rights. He also ordered Pasadena to submit any future changes in its voting plan to the U.S. Justice Department for civil rights pre-clearance.

In a statement, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund called Rosenthal’s ruling “well-reasoned” and serves as a “clear warning” to other jurisdictions seeking to dilute minority voting rights.

Emails to Pasadena city officials brought no responses.

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