CASE SUMMARY

On January 19, 2022, a group of Washington voters filed a federal lawsuit against Washington's Secretary of State, House Speaker, and Senate Majority Leader challenging the Washington State Redistricting Commission's approved legislative redistricting plan as violating the federal Voting Rights Act. Specifically, plaintiffs assert that the approved plan cracks Latino voters in the Yakima Valley region across multiple districts, resulting in the dilution of their voting strength in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Additionally, they allege that the plan was drawn to intentionally discriminate against Latino voters in violation of Section 2. They are seeking a judicial declaration that the approved legislative plan violates the VRA, a preliminary and permanent injunction barring the defendants from utilizing the plan in future elections, and a court order implementing a valid legislative plan that includes a majority-Latino district in the Yakima Valley region.

On April 13, 2022 the district court issued an order dismissing the claims against the House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader and denying the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction, citing the Purcell principle that federal courts should refrain from interfering in a state's electoral processes in the period close to an election.

On August 10, 2023, the district court ruled in favor of plaintiffs and ordered the redistricting commission to reform and cure the Sec. 2 violation the court found to exist in the Commission's adopted legislative plan.

CASE LIBRARY

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Tacoma - No. 3:22-cv-5035

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - No. 23-35595

Supreme Court of the United States - No. 23-484