Washington Supreme Court Says Redistricting Commission Met Its Deadline, Declines To Redo Maps

The Washington Supreme Court on Friday declared the state's redistricting commission had met its deadline and declined to exercise its authority to draft new legislative and congressional maps.
The Washington Supreme Court on Friday declared the state's redistricting commission had met its deadline and declined to exercise its authority to draft new legislative and congressional maps. CREDIT: Harvey Barrison/ Flickr - Tinyurl.Com/Zhj7uae

Read

In a surprise order Friday morning, the Washington Supreme Court declined to take on the job of drafting new congressional and legislative maps. Instead, the court declared that the state’s Redistricting Commission had finished its work on time last month.

The order, signed by all nine justices, represented a dramatic turn of events. Earlier it was presumed that the commission had missed its November 15 midnight deadline and that, as a result, the Supreme Court would, by law, have to assume responsibility for drawing new maps.

Instead the justices, in their five-page order, said a timeline of events showed “that the Commission approved both redistricting plans by the constitutional deadline.”

Specifically, the justices determined that the maps themselves were approved before the midnight deadline. The fact the Commission transmitted the redistricting plan to the Legislature after midnight, the justices said, was not reason enough to declare the process failed to comply with the law.

“This is not a situation in which the Supreme Court must step in because the Commission has failed to agree on a plan it believes complies with state and federal requirements,” the order concluded.

The court, however, did not weigh in on the constitutionality of the maps, which could still be challenged under the federal Voting Rights Act.

This is a developing story.

Related Stories:

A census supporter holds up a sign during a 2020 rally in New York City. CREDIT: Gabriele Holtermann-Gorden/Sipa USA via Reuters

6-Month Delay In Census Redistricting Data Could Complicate 2022 Mid-Term Elections

Dogged by the coronavirus pandemic and the Trump administration’s interference with the census schedule, the latest expected release date — six months past the March 31 legal deadline — could throw upcoming elections into chaos in states facing tight redistricting deadlines for Congress, as well as state and local offices. Continue Reading 6-Month Delay In Census Redistricting Data Could Complicate 2022 Mid-Term Elections

Senate Republican floor leader Joe Fain, R-Auburn. CREDIT: TED WARREN

Assault Survivor Groups Denounce Former State Senator On Washington Redistricting Commission

Groups representing women and sexual assault survivors are denouncing the appointment of former state Sen. Joe Fain to the state redistricting commission, a body that will shape Washington state politics for the next decade. Fain, 40, narrowly lost his reelection bid in November 2018, after being accused of raping a woman years earlier. The former Republican state senator represented south King County’s 47th Legislative District for two terms. Continue Reading Assault Survivor Groups Denounce Former State Senator On Washington Redistricting Commission