Judge orders jury trial for HERO lawsuit

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A Houston judge on Tuesday ordered that a lawsuit surrounding the city's Equal Rights Ordinance will be heard by a jury, not him, delivering what HERO opponents say is a big victory to them.

The city asked state District Judge Robert Schaffer for a bench trial during a hearing on Friday, while opponents suing the city over its rejection of their anti-HERO petition argued for a jury trial.

Via the Houston Chronicle:

After a brief hearing last Friday, state District Judge Robert Schaffer said he needed more time to consider the request. Late Tuesday afternoon, he issued a ruling denying the city's request for a bench trial, effectively sending the case before a jury.

“It's great news,” plaintiff Jared Woodfill said. “It's great to see that this judge is not going to allow them to keep the vote from the people.”

And what might the jury see when the trial opens on Jan. 20? Evidence of perjury, fraud and loads of sketchy signatures. In other words, the same stuff that prompted then-City Attorney David Feldman to throw out thousands of signatures on the petition and invalidate the effort to force a public vote on HERO.

[photo via Texas Together]

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