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Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says SCOTUS Decision Secures the Path for More Political Clout of Our Communities in the Northwest

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This moment marks a monumental triumph for the Latinos in Washington State as the U.S. Supreme Court chose not to entertain a legal challenge to roll back crucial voting rights protections. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) hails this decision as a pivotal affirmation in the ongoing fight for equitable representation and political empowerment.

The Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA), enacted in 2018, stands as a beacon of progress, echoing the spirit of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. This state-level legislation is designed to safeguard the rights of minority voters, ensuring they have a fair chance to elect candidates who truly represent their interests and shield them from discriminatory practices in the electoral process.

"LULAC congratulates Latino leaders in Washington State who have successfully fought and won the fight for representation," says Domingo Garcia, LULAC national president. "For generations, our gente have migrated to the Northwest to pick the crops, build the communities, and set roots in Washington State. Now, their voices and those of generations to come will be heard, and their votes counted to decide their own futures," adds Garcia.

The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the rulings of the Washington Supreme Court, which affirmed the constitutionality of the WVRA in June 2023. This legal victory reinforces the settlement agreement reached between Latino voters and Franklin County in May 2022, marking a significant step towards fair electoral practices.

"Washington State LULAC is elated that the Supreme Court sees the wisdom and justice of our pleadings that gave our community this historic win," said Gabriel Portugal, Washington State Director. "This battle took years to wage, and those who came forward as plaintiffs were often targets of criticism for claiming their lawful rights. Now, the rest is up to all of us to use these protections to organize, mobilize, and get our voters to the polls in 2024," adds Portugal.

The settlement agreement, which shifts general elections for the three-member county commission from an at-large system to single-member districts, opens the door for Latino voters—who constitute over 50% of Franklin County's total population—to elect representatives who genuinely reflect their interests.

Garcia vows that LULAC will continue its vigilant advocacy. "This is the work and history of LULAC; to fight in the courtrooms and the halls of power all the way to the Supreme Court. We will never stop, and we will never quit until Latinos enjoy the full civil rights guaranteed by our Constitution. ¡Hasta la Victoria!"

The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to intervene in the legal challenge against the WVRA reinforces the principle that all citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity, deserve equal access to the ballot box. LULAC remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing the rights and interests of Latino communities across the nation.




The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 535 Councils and 145,000 members across the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/