House Republican Deputy Leader Mike Steele and Senate Republican Leader John Braun call for a special session to reconvene the Redistricting Commission

Statement from House Republican Deputy Leader Mike Steele and Senate Republican Leader John Braun:

“The Legislature should perform its civic duty and call a special session for the purpose of reconvening the Redistricting Commission. The court invited this course of action, which is fully supported by the Senate and House Republican caucuses.

“Our state’s fair and bipartisan redistricting process, approved by the voters to remove partisanship from the redistricting process, is considered one of the best in the nation. These maps should be created by the Redistricting Commission, with direct input from the public and in accordance with the state constitution. This is what the people have told us they want for the past 40 years, when over 60 percent of voters approved the constitutional amendment establishing the Redistricting Commission as the exclusive method for revising legislative and congressional district boundaries.

“We therefore call on our colleagues across the aisle to join us in supporting a special session to reconvene the Redistricting Commission, a process that provides a level of transparency the public deserves and is demanding. The same cannot be said of leaving the decision to the federal courts, where the only certainty of that process is that it will occur behind closed doors without any opportunity for public input. And that is unacceptable.

“If majority leadership stands by their decision to not call a special session and punts redistricting to the federal courts, they will not only be shirking their legislative responsibility to the people of Washington—they will be using the federal courts as a tool to achieve the partisan political changes they could not get through bipartisan negotiations during the redistricting process. This is an intolerable dereliction of legislative duty and a blatant end-around the state constitution. We need Democratic state lawmakers to challenge their leadership and demand that a special session be called.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has said that ‘reapportionment is primarily the duty and responsibility of the State through its legislature or other body.’ The Legislature should not so readily abandon this cherished duty and responsibility for short-term political convenience and partisan gain—especially not at the expense of bipartisanship, transparency, and public input.”  


Washington State House Republican Communications