I-1366's opponents file lawsuit to prevent the people from voting on I-1366
If you can't win a vote, you try to cancel it or block it.
Politicians clearly believe that voters overwhelmingly support
I-1366's taxpayer protection policies and that's why they desperately
want to take away the people's right to vote on it.
So they filed a don't-let-the-people-vote lawsuit this week.
Two unanimous state supreme court rulings have stopped lawsuits just like this one.
In 2005, all 9 justices on the Washington State Supreme Court
rejected an effort by special-interest groups to stop the people from
voting on a qualified initiative. In their 9-0 ruling, the High Court
wrote: “It has been a longstanding rule of our jurisprudence that
we refrain from inquiring into the validity of a proposed law, including
an initiative or referendum, before it has been enacted." Coppernol v
Just two years later, opponents sued to prevent voters from
voting on another qualified initiative, essentially asking the state
supreme court "Did you really mean it?" They sure did. In their 2nd unanimous ruling, this one in 2007, all 9 justices wrote: "Preelection
review of initiative measures is highly disfavored. Coppernoll v. Reed,
155 Wash.2d 290, 297, 119 P.3d 318 (2005). The fundamental reason is
that 'the right of initiative is nearly as old as our constitution
itself, deeply ingrained in our state's history, and widely revered as a
powerful check and balance on the other branches of government.' Id.
at 296-97, 119 P.3d 318. Given the preeminence of the initiative
right, preelection challenges to the substantive validity of initiatives
are particularly disallowed. Id. at 297, 119 P.3d 318. Such review,
if engaged in, would involve the court in rendering advisory opinions,
would violate ripeness requirements, would undermine the policy of
avoiding unnecessary constitutional questions, and would constitute
unwarranted judicial meddling with the legislative process. Id. at 298,
119 P.3d 318. Thus, preelection substantive challenges are not
justiciable. Id. at 300-01, 119 P.3d 318. Further, substantive
preelection review could unduly infringe on the citizens' right to
freely express their views to their elected representatives. Id. at
298, 119 P.3d 318." Futurewise v Reed
Editorials were unanimous too:
Walla Walla Union Bulletin: "Pre-emptive legal
challenge of initiatives is a mistake. We see barring an initiative
from the ballot as an abridgment of free speech. Any constitutional
test in court should come after the election. That's the way the system
was designed to work."
Tacoma News Tribune: "The high court got it
right: Give initiatives to voters. The court said, 'No! in 2005. This
time, it essentially said, 'Read our lips: Don’t try it again.' Let’s
hope these two unanimous precedents get the message across to would-be
initiative killers in the future. The willingness of citizens to sign
the petitions determines whether the initiative will be put on the
ballot in the first place. And the vote of the electorate in November
determines whether the bill becomes law. Whatever one thinks of the
content of an initiative, the process is pure democracy – and deserving
of utmost respect. And as the court noted, initiatives – whether or not
they are ultimately struck down by the courts – represent a chance for
voters to 'send a message' to their elected representatives. They tell
lawmakers what the public thinks about the issue in question. So let the
voters have at it."
Seattle Times: "Initiative tampering is dangerous
... We believe their lawsuit should fail because it would undermine the
rights of the people to petition their government. ... that is an
attempt to change our political system, in which courts don’t decide
whether a measure is constitutional until after the people approve it.
It’s a slow way, but it’s our way, and it has the advantage of allowing
the people to say what they want. That is how car tabs were lowered: the
people voted to lower them, the court threw the measure out, and the
Legislature lowered them anyway. The political message got through. The
Seattle Times did not support that initiative, and over the years we
have expressed our dislike of many others. But we defend the right of
initiative. The Futurewise-SEIU lawsuit would expand the power of
political groups to shrink the people’s choices before an election. We
are against it."
Again, the state supreme court has twice issued unanimous
rulings, making it clear to all anti-initiative groups that they
shouldn't go knocking on the court's door every time an initiative
qualifies for the ballot. The voters have a right to vote and that
right shouldn't be taken away just because a bunch of politicians and
special interest groups don't trust the voters.
We're working as hard as we can to pass I-1366 in
November. Our antidemocratic opponents are trying to stop it. It's
clear that we need your support now more than ever. Please help us (see
If you like and appreciate our past, current, and future efforts on
behalf of taxpayers and especially now that Initiative 1366 has
qualified for the ballot, please send us a donation for $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, $2500, $5000 or more (there are no limits on how much can be given). You can go to our website right now - www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com and make a secure on-line contribution by PayPal or VISA or M/C. OR, you can print this form, fill it out, and return it with a check or credit card information.
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Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan