An effort to hold up the adoption of a new Washington legislative map has failed. 

Intervenor-Defendants in a lawsuit asked for a stay on the map, but the federal judge in the case filed a court document Monday saying he'd denied a stay last month. 

The new map creates a majority-Latino voting district in the Yakima area to meet requirements in the Voting Rights Act. 

The map also changes boundaries in 13 legislative districts, including the 12th District, where all of Douglas County is removed. 

Judge Robert Lasnik approved the new legislative map Friday after the state, and Secretary of State Steven Hobbs were sued following work completed by the Washington State Redistricting Commission. Plaintiffs had contended the original map did not comply with federal voting rights law.  

The new map, known as Remedial Map 3B, unites the Latino-majority communities from East Yakima in Yakima County to Pasco in Franklin County into one district. The Latino district was also switched from the 15th Legislative District to the 14th to ensure that state Senate elections will fall on a presidential year when Latino voter turnout is generally higher.  

Judge Lasnik had ruled last year in the case that the 15th Legislative District in Central Washington, which was drawn up by the Redistricting Commission in 2021, diluted voting power for Latinos in the region. Lasnick sided with the plaintiffs in Palmer v. Hobbs. 

The new map changes boundaries in 13 districts. Lasnik said, "the ripple in the adopted map appears to be a normal redistricting occurrence, especially common when one centrally located district must be redrawn." 

It has the effect of sending all of Douglas County out of the 12th District into the 7th District, including the city of East Wenatchee. 

The change is compelling State Senator Brad Hawkins of East Wenatchee to relocate in Wenatchee. Hawkins thinks Wenatchee and East Wenatchee should be protected as “communities of interest” under state law. 

He's also highly critical of the judge and the ruling. “This is a ridiculous lawsuit and ruling, but I’m not going to let an activist group from Los Angeles and an over-eager federal judge keep me from serving the people here," said Hawkins. I believe the judge’s decision will eventually be overturned by the US Supreme Court, but it will unfortunately take several months to work through that process.” 

An emergency appeal has already been filed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco by Intervenor Defendants, including 13th District Republican State Representative Alex Ybarra of Quincy.  

In his ruling, Judge Lasnik rejected objections from the Intervenor Defendants, who claim the adopted map requires boundary adjustments for too many districts, and that it disrupts the political lean of Washington’s legislative districts outside of Legislative District 14.  

On the boundary adjustments, Lasnik said the Intervenor Defendants overstated the magnitude of the shifts and didn't offer any alternatives. 

As far as disrupting the political lean of the districts, Lasnik said "the map was not drawn or adopted to favor or discriminate against either political party, but rather to unite the Latino community of interest in the Yakima Valley region." 

Republican State Senator Nikki Torres of Pasco, who was elected to represent the disputed 15th District in 2022, called the new map a “mockery of the Voting Rights Act.” Under the new map, Torres is no longer within the boundaries of the 15th District. 

Five maps were submitted by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit late last year. Remedial Map 3 was revised several times before being adopted. 

Intervenor Defendants were allowed to submit one alternative legislative map in the case, which was not adopted. 

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