Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Friday, July 13, 2007

LIVE from King County Superior Court: Judge Catherine Shaffer hears oral argument in lawsuit to block I-960

I'm liveblogging from King County Superior Court, where Judge Catherine Shaffer is currently listening to oral argument in Futurewise and SEIU 775 v. Secretary of State Sam Reed. Knoll Lowney, the attorney for the plaintiffs, just presented, making use of visual displays to explain why Initiative 960 falls outside the scope of the initiative process.

If I-960 allowed to proceed to the ballot, Lowney explained, the initiative power could in the future be used to attempt to thwart minority protections or effectively remove the lawmaking role from the Legislature altogether. As he observed, such changes require a constitutional amendment. The initiative process was intended to be a safeguard for our representative democracy – not a replacement.

Deputy Solicitor General Jeff Even is now presenting his arguments to the judge. (Even represents Secretary of State Sam Reed). The state notes that pre-election challenges are rare and that argues that I-960 does not fall within the criteria for striking an initiative before it is certified to go before the voters.

Judge Shaffer and Even are just having a short discussion about Goldstein v. Gregoire, and when Even noted that the initiative concerned "an individual present" (Eyman, who is here in the courtroom) Eyman started laughing quietly. Even referred to the measure as calling Eyman "a bad name".

UPDATE: Eyman just got up and went to the state's table, and was given a notepad and pen, apparently to write a note of some kind. Even has just finished his arguments. Knoll is now going to present rebuttal.

...Eyman just gave the notepad back to the state's counsel. Even is reading the note....Eyman has taken the notepad back and is now writing another note.

The judge is challenging Lowney on some of the referenced cases in his brief.

UPDATE II: Even just revealed what Eyman's note was about. He wanted to address the judge. The judge denied the request.

UPDATE III: Judge Shaffer says she is ready to rule....

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