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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is Tim Eyman's 2/3 Majority Requirement Unconstitutional? Find Out Tomorrow.

Posted by on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Tomorrow morning, I'm told, King County Superior Court Judge Bruce E. Heller will issue his ruling in a case that challenges the constitutionality of Tim Eyman's Initiative 1053—the one that created a 2/3 majority requirement in Olympia for passing any tax increases, and thereby hamstrung state lawmakers as they tried to dig out of the Great Recession.

Goldy (and a lot of others) have been saying for a while that 1053 is plainly unconstitutional, but what matters now—as this case continues its long road to the Washington State Supreme Court—is whether Judge Heller finds it unconstitutional.

Time for a legally binding and infallibly predictive Slog poll.


Comments (19) RSS

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pfffter 1
My vote "Yes" was wishful thinking more than anything else. I won't be holding my breath for that result.
Posted by pfffter on May 29, 2012 at 3:45 PM · Report this
Rotten666 2
He fucking better or we are fiscally screwed.
Posted by Rotten666 on May 29, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
Read Art. II, Sec. 22 of the Constitution of the State of Washington. Says in clear 19th-century language that it takes only majority votes in each house of the Legislature to pass a bill. Period. No provisos allowing changing it by statute or initiative.

If the judge is a strict constructionist, he will rule that the constitution means what it says and Eyman's initiatives are null and void. If he's an activist judge, he could rule to the contrary.
Posted by Citizen R on May 29, 2012 at 4:01 PM · Report this
When will you taxaholics learn, the good people of Washington State don't want your massive nanny welfare state. Fill the potholes, arrest the criminals and help old widows and orphans. Otherwise, wipe your own backsides.
Posted by You know, basic services on May 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM · Report this
"If the judge is a strict constructionist"

When have liberals ever cared for that?
Posted by Baby Mama on May 29, 2012 at 4:06 PM · Report this
I was on the jury panel in a case tried by Judge Heller. Oddly, though he's listed on the civil side of KCSC judges, it was a criminal case. In the end, I was excused from consideration for that jury.

In the 3 days or so that I was in his courtroom (it was a very long voir dire), Judge Heller came across as a very serious man, a man with immense respect for the law. How that translates to his ruling in this case is beyond me. But you can be sure that however he rules, it will be a well-reasoned and serious one.
Posted by N in Seattle on May 29, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
T 7
1053 didn't even achieve a 2/3 supermajority. Fuck Tim Eyman in his smarmy dumbass face.
Posted by T on May 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM · Report this
Zebes 8

"Nanny state!" Good one. Bust out a "will of the voters" line next.
Posted by Zebes on May 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Michael of the Green 9
see: california
Posted by Michael of the Green on May 29, 2012 at 4:20 PM · Report this
"see: california"

10th highest tax rate in the USA and stillbguckibg bankrupt.
Posted by Baby mama on May 29, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
The_Shaved_Bear 11
We need an initiative that bans all Eyeman anything forever. Better yet, declare him an illegal and have him deported. What a con he is.
Posted by The_Shaved_Bear on May 29, 2012 at 4:49 PM · Report this
ChadK 12
@ 4, 5, 10 - What's wrong trolly? Got nobody to play with?
Posted by ChadK on May 29, 2012 at 5:26 PM · Report this
@8 Why do you hate the people?
Posted by Elitist much? on May 29, 2012 at 5:55 PM · Report this
It doesn't matter what Judge Heller decides. Either way it will be appealed all the way the state supreme court. Call me when the real game starts, this is just the pre-game warm up.
Posted by Charlie Mas on May 29, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
"Got nobody to play with?"

If u actually ever won the tax issue in Washington State, you might have a point.
Posted by Need help wiping your ass do you? on May 29, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 16

If you like tax so much, you should be supporting HB-2100, a tax on financial assets.

But since as we all know, you are really hypocrites, you won't.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on May 29, 2012 at 7:39 PM · Report this
@5; thanks for acknowledging my point -- so-called conservatives, known for their caterwauling against Judicial Activism, are now calling for exactly that -- they want the court to read something into the Constitution of the State of Washington directly contrary to the plain meaning of its text.
Posted by Citizen R on May 29, 2012 at 8:56 PM · Report this
Just another punt -- he will find that the parties don't have standing because they didn't exhaust all legislative remedies. He will also rule that the issue is moot because a similar piece of legislation was enacted into law.
Posted by legal Geek on May 29, 2012 at 11:02 PM · Report this
The state Supreme Court has already ruled on this, in Brown v. Owen in 2008. The Court said that the Legislature had chosen to implement the supermajority as a matter of procedure, and that the Court cannot interfere with the Legislatures procedure.

The strong implication was that if either or both chambers were to decide that, as a matter of legislative procedure, they would interpret "majority" in the state constitution as meaning "simple majority" unless the constitution said otherwise, then the Court would not interfere. But of course, Chopp and Owen are too damned cowardly to do anything that might piss off Eyman.
Posted by TechBear on May 30, 2012 at 6:21 AM · Report this

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