SCOTUS refuses to get involved in Washington state redistricting battle

 April 4, 2024

Several states are in the midst of battling out congressional district lines ahead of the November election. 

Some of those battles have nearly risen to the U.S. Supreme Court level. A redistricting controversy in Washington state almost made it that far, but the high court this week refused to get involved in the ongoing issue.

A stay was requested that would have blocked new redistricting maps from taking effect prior to the 2024 election, which critics say heavily favors certain Latino voters, and more specifically, Democrats.

The 2024 election "will be governed by the map adopted last month by a U.S. District Court judge," according to CrossCut.

What's going on?

The new maps, approved by the district judge last month, essentially gives Latino voters more voting power and falls in line with the "Voting Rights Act."

The outlet noted:

Under the new map, Legislative District 14 unites Latino communities in Central Washington from the east part of Yakima to Pasco in neighboring Franklin County, including Latino communities along the Lower Yakima Valley. The map also switched the Latino-majority district from the 15th to the 14th to ensure that state Senate elections fall on a presidential election year when the turnout of Latino voters is higher.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik sided with Latino voters after they sued the state in early 2022.

Lasnik agreed at the time that the previous maps "diluted" Latino voting power.

The outlet added:

A group of conservative Latino voters, which included State Rep. Alex Ybarra (R-Quincy), intervened in the case, known as Palmer v. Hobbs, and opposed the map, stating that it was an attempt by Democrats to gain power in conservative Central Washington districts.

It's not over yet

Though the Supreme Court rejected the opportunity to get involved, the case will proceed in the federal appeals court system.

Conservative voters will be required to file opening briefs by June 7. Responses to the briefs will be required by July.

Many believe Democrats are working overtime to create as much opportunity as possible to gain seats in the next election.

Only time will tell if conservatives emerge victorious.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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