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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tim Eyman's 2/3 Majority Requirement Ruled Unconstitutional

Posted by on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 10:12 AM

We interrupt this Slog silence (again) to tell you: Tim Eyman's 2/3 majority requirement for raising new state revenue is unconstitutional, according to King County Superior Court Judge Bruce E. Heller.


More soon. Meantime, for all the lawyers and amateur lawyers out there, relevant documents here and here.

This case, by the way, is destined for the Washington State Supreme Court, and Attorney General Rob McKenna's office has indicated it will help get it there by immediately appealing.

State Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43), who helped bring the lawsuit, says via e-mail:

I am thrilled that the court reached the merits of this question and recognized that Tim Eyman’s initiatives requiring supermajority votes to raise revenue are unconstitutional and are hampering our ability to fund public schools. I feel hopeful that the Supreme Court—fresh off of its decision that the legislature is failing to fund education adequately—will give us back the tools to do so.

And Eyman himself says, in an e-mail to supporters:

King County judge throws gasoline on the fire for Son of 1053.


Comments (35) RSS

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Erin Resso 1
haha, suckah!
Posted by Erin Resso on May 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 2
Not like the damage hasn't already been done.....
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on May 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Before people complain about the will of the people a super majority requirement gives 33% an insane amount of power.
Posted by CbytheSea on May 30, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Tim's response: No, YOU'RE unconstitutional!

*stomps off to basement and puts on Darth Vader helmet*
Posted by Eyman Sucks His Own Cock on May 30, 2012 at 10:19 AM · Report this
pfffter 5
@2 Seriously. Although, a small consolation will be Tim Eyman's head exploding when he hears the news.
Posted by pfffter on May 30, 2012 at 10:20 AM · Report this
Yawn….not that Olympia liberals have the balls to raise our taxes. Nothing's gonna change. Put a new, different initiative up in November and watch 65% of Washington support it. WA State's middle class has nothing to fear from the taxaholics.
Posted by ....and they'll never get an income tax on May 30, 2012 at 10:28 AM · Report this
I don't know why Eyman would be bothered by this. Isn't it normal to see him as a fraud who does this stuff for a living? This ruling just means he's got a project for next year. The fundraising letters write themselves.
Posted by Alden on May 30, 2012 at 10:28 AM · Report this
Pithy Name 8
Yeah, Cato is right. State has already been pretty much crippled by both these stupid initiatives. Happy that the State Constitution trumps them, though.
Posted by Pithy Name on May 30, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
@7: Bingo. Regrettable, but true.
Posted by pheeeew!crack!boom! on May 30, 2012 at 10:34 AM · Report this
Woo hoo!
Posted by gloomy gus on May 30, 2012 at 10:34 AM · Report this
" State has already been pretty much crippled"

Crippled? The State is doing much better than most of the country, and definitely better than Taxifornia, 10th highest tax rate in the USA and still bankrupt. Nope, we're not Somalia as so many of your predicted (except maybe down by Henderson and Rainier Ave).

Sorry folks, put your dreams for the massive SEIU/mafia-nanny state on hold, you'll still need to keep wiping your own bottoms in the great State of Washington.
Posted by Big Yawn on May 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
You guys you guys! Let's raise a glass yet again to Paul Lawrence, the kickass lawyer who won the I-1192 ballot wording and R-74 disclosure cases, and now this.
Posted by gloomy gus on May 30, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 13
@7 is correct. Professional initiative promoter Eyman has to love this. "Gasoline on the fire" means more money in his pocket. He's crying all the way to the bank.

Take away well-healed backers and paid signature gatherers, and Timmeh's job dries up overnight.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on May 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
On the face of it, an initiative that says "if we get a bare majority of 50.001% of the vote this one time, we only need 33% from now until forever" seems to be blatantly anti-democratic. It's like a kid saying "you're it, no tag-backs, infinity!" and declaring himself winner for life.

Super-majority rules should, at a minimum, require super-majority passage.
Posted by Proteus on May 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 15
@2 Indeed, yes. In the long run, this is good. There are now verifiable facts that deal directly with Washington to argue against any more such nonsense. We tried it, it didn't work.

Would you be happier if the decision went the other way? No. This is a victory, let's all celebrate it.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on May 30, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
Zebes 16
Rabble rabble WILL OF THE PEOPLE rabble ACTIVIST JUDGES rabble rabble NANNY STATE.
Posted by Zebes on May 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
Cascadian 17
This is good news, and I'm feeling good about the case's chances on appeal. I'd love to gloat at Eyman's expense but that won't happen until people stop giving him money to pass harmful initiatives. When he's back to selling watches and his name brings universal derision, then I'll celebrate.
Posted by Cascadian on May 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
icouldliveinhope 18
I keep staring at the Eyman quote because I still don't quite believe it's real. I hope that some kind of Mecha-Eyman rises from the ashes.
Posted by icouldliveinhope on May 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
I saw people trying to get signatures on this on 3rd and Pine the other day. Dude told me what it was for; I told him he was batshit.
Posted by erly on May 30, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this

"This is a victory, let's all celebrate it."

It's a victory when it's upheld. It's a victory when Olympia politicians think they can vote against the interests and beliefs of the majority of the state (unlikely outside of Cap Hill). It's a victory when you can pass taxes that punish higher income earners.

In other words, you're confusing your mental masturbation with actual sex.
Posted by Taxelicious on May 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM · Report this
This is a good thing. Look at the filibuster rules in the Senate or California's insane 2/3 majority requirement to pass a budget to understand why this initiative would deadlock Washington indefinitely.
Posted by robdaemon on May 30, 2012 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Tim Eyman needs to be Ignored as soon as possible.He does nothing good for this state.
Posted by h8red42 on May 30, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
zachd 23
Why are taxes punishment?

If taxes are punishment, you're doing it wrong.
Posted by zachd on May 30, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
I consider taxes a surcharge to live and do business in a given place.
Posted by Gomez on May 30, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
Zebes 25
I consider taxes the subscription fee to keep playing this shitty MMORPG they signed me up for when I was born.
Posted by Zebes on May 30, 2012 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 26
As promised I will now stop calling for a mandatory 2/3 majority vote for all tax giveaways (aka exemptions).

And will settle for a straight majority vote of the people.
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 27
To those tight wads that hate Eyman but love higher taxes, please feel free to send your money to Olympia to solve all the problems that only money can solve. Don't wait for the law makers in Olympia to make it law for you to pay, be proactive and compassionate and send that money now. No 2-thirds majority needed for you to make the contribution.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on May 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 28
@19 me too, told him I wanted to raise taxes on the rich even more.
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
emor 29

A few people sending extra money to Olympia will not provide a greater public benefit. If everyone pays a higher, but fairly assessed, tax, the state can provide better services that increase the greater good. I don't like taxes, but I do like the high quality standard of living they help provide.
Posted by emor on May 30, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
The Max 30
For Y'all's sake, I really hope that McKenna shits himself in public and eats it in front of the cameras and is forced to withdraw days before the erection.
Posted by The Max on May 30, 2012 at 12:32 PM · Report this
Happy to see a judge who reads Art. II, Sec. 22 the way it was written by the Framers -- simple majorities are required in both Houses of the Legislature to pass a bill -- any bill! And nowhere does it empower the initiative process to amend that Black Letter constitutional provision.
Posted by Citizen R on May 30, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 32
@25 Winnah!
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on May 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 33
@32 is correct.
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
stop calling it a 2/3 majority requirement, it's a 1/3 minority rule junta empowerment practice, and it's not law. So no it's NOT REQUIRED AND ALL THE DEMS FOLLOWING IT FOR YEARS WERE FOLLOWING AN ILLEGAL PRACTICE they didn'thave the balls to ignore.
Posted by stop empowering eyman's junta on May 30, 2012 at 5:04 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 35
Say this is confirmed by every court up the line. Isn't there anything to prevent Eyman from starting initiative after initiative? Also, would getting a new initiative on the ballot forestall implementation of normal voting rules required by this verdict?

Seems kind of whack that the public can be forced to vote on something that is verified unconstitutional and will be thrown out as soon as it's challenged.

Someone should start an initiative that says that for an initiative to even be considered, it can't clearly violate the state constitution.
Posted by Free Lunch on May 30, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Report this

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