The Seattle Times editorial board is never more stupider than when it's instructing courts on how to decide cases:
JUDGE Bruce Heller of King County Superior Court, who threw out Initiative 1053, will not have the last word on the two-thirds rule for taxes. The Washington Supreme Court will have the last word, and it should reach a decision opposite of Heller's.
Wow. Well. If they're going to make such a bold statement, I can only presume they've got an equally bold legal analysis to back it up.
We do not argue that Heller is legally mistaken.
The Washington Constitution does not allow an initiative to raise the threshold for passing a law.
Nor does it disallow it.
You gotta fucking be kidding.
Given that the Supreme Court can decide either way, we believe the court should let the people have what they want.
Um... that's not how this legal stuff works. Really.
The state Constitution either does or does not allow an initiative to raise the threshold for passing a law, and it is up to the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution based on its plain language, the intent of the framers, and established legal precedent, not based on what the justices (or Frank Blethen) think the people do or do not want. The justices have no leeway on this. They do not have the luxury of picking which policy they (or Frank) think is best. That's not the role of the court.
An initiative amounts to a sub-constitutional restraint on the Legislature...
No it doesn't.
It is a kind of trial amendment...
No it isn't!
The initiative process merely grants the people the same power as the legislature to "propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls" by a simple majority vote.
Jesus... have the editors ever read the fucking Constitution? Have they ever even bothered to look up the word "constitution" in the dictionary? Constitutions are supposed to be difficult to amend; otherwise the fundamental principles and protections they embody would carry no more weight than any other law. The extra-constitutional line of reasoning the editors propose is nothing less than a recipe for undermining the rule of law.
Honestly, the Seattle Times editorial board is about as qualified to give legal advice as I am to operate on Bruce Ramsey's prostate.
To be clear, when I say that the Constitution does not allow an initiative to raise the threshold for passing a law (and it doesn't), I am not telling the justices how to decide this case. I am predicting how they will decide it based on my own informed analysis and the legal opinion of attorneys I trust.
But what the Seattle Times ed board is attempting to do is totally different. They are attempting to use their op-ed page to persuade elected justices to reinterpret the Constitution based on political expediency—an effort that displays both a lack of understanding of the law, and a lack of regard for it.