One of the things that has long worried me about the Initiative 1053 lawsuit is that given its troubling history of "justiciability" rulings, the court's decision might ultimately be moot.
The state Supreme Court might very well toss out the initiative's two-thirds supermajority requirement, but by the time the next legislative session is gaveled to order in January, it is I-1185 that could be on the books, not I-1053. And while the underlying constitutional issue might have already been settled, I can still imagine a long drawn out battle over standing and ripeness that leaves I-1185 in force for months if not years.
I know that sounds crazy. But no crazier than Solicitor General Maureen Hart's bizarre argument that the issue only becomes justiciable, not with the passage of the law or even its enforcement, but with its violation.
And so it was with great interest at our SECB interview this afternoon that I posed to Republican Lt. Governor candidate Bill Finkbeiner the following question: If the court were to rule I-1053 unconstitutional, but the people approve I-1185 at the polls, would he rule in his parliamentarian role as President of the Senate that a tax-hike bill passed or failed on simple majority vote?
Although he says he voted for I-1053, and will vote for I-1185, Finkbeiner says he would follow settled constitutional law, not the statute on the books. He would rule a simple majority sufficient to pass a tax measure.
That is reassuring.