Judge favors Hattiesburg in redistricting lawsuit

Published 5:38 pm Friday, August 8, 2008

U.S. District Court Judge Keith Starrett has ruled that the city of Hattiesburg did not violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by including dormitory students in the drawing of the city’s wards.

A group of Hattiesburg residents sued the city in 2006 seeking to redraw the ward boundaries without the dormitory students included in the mix.

Starrett, in the 19-page ruling released Thursday, said the last ten years have witnessed remarkable progress by black voters to select representatives of their choice.

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He said Hattiesburg had achieved a remarkably equitable racial balance in each segment of the city’s government.