This morning, the Washington State Supreme Court rendered a preliminary verdict in Huff v. Wyman, the scope challenge to Tim Eyman’s I-1366. The Court has ruled unanimously that plaintiffs’ request for an injunction should be denied, which we understand means that I-1366 will appear on the November 2015 ballot.
The Court entered the following order:
This matter came before the en banc court on appellants’ direct appeal to this court and motion for accelerated review of a King County Superior Court order denying appellants’ motion to enjoin the Secretary of State from placing Initiative Measure No. 1366 (1-1366) on the November 2015 general election ballot.
The court has determined unanimously that the present order should be entered immediately, with an opinion explaining the court’s reasoning to be entered in due course.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
The appeal is retained by this Court for a decision on the merits.
Appellants have not made the clear showing necessary for injunctive relief as required by Rabon v. City of Seattle, 135 Wn.2d 278, 957 P.2d 621 (1998). The superior court order denying appellants’ motion for injunctive relief is affirmed.
DATED at Olympia, Washington this 4th day of September, 2015.
For the Court:
This is a curious order. On the one hand, the Court has declined to issue an injunction, which is unfortunate. It’s a decision that will please all of the defendants in the case (Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Tim Eyman, and Eyman’s associates). However, the Court has decided to retain the appeal “for a decision on the merits”. So they’re not simply washing their hands of the challenge.
Going into this, the plaintiffs knew (as did we), that a victory would be hard to achieve. But a challenge needed to be attempted. I-1366 is so destructive that it needed to be fought in every way possible.
We are grateful to the wonderful team at Pacifica Law Group – Paul Lawrence, Kymberly Evans, Sarah Washburn – who crafted and argued a solid case, first at the trial court level and then at the appellate level.
So far, it has yielded a noteworthy decision finding that I-1366 is outside the scope, which the Supreme Court has not disagreed with. The Court has signaled it has more to say, and perhaps when it does, it will affirm the King County Superior Court’s scope finding, which would set a helpful precedent.
Sadly, without an injunction, Secretary of State Wyman is going to leave I-1366 on the ballot, which means a lot of time and money is going to wasted holding an election on an initiative that is not only beyond the scope of the people’s initiative power, but blatantly unconstitutional in multiple respects.
If I-1366 is beyond the scope, then it stands to reason it will not hold up in a post-election challenge, which means it won’t ever become law.
However, we simply cannot afford to let Tim Eyman go unchallenged in the court of public opinion. We at NPI have believed, ever since Eyman revealed he had money for I-1366, that the initiative needed and deserved to be met by a strong, vigorous opposition campaign. We began our coalition-building work against this initiative last February, and have continued it even during the court case, anticipating the possibility that I-1366 would stay on the ballot.
We are pleased that more and more organizations continue to join the coalition, from the Mainstream Republicans to AARP Washington State to OneAmerica Votes. In the weeks to come, we anticipate the coalition’s roster will grow even larger, and we will significantly ramp up our efforts to educate the public about the devastation that I-1366 would cause. The use of coercion to sabotage our Constitution runs counter to the values our state was founded on. I-1366 should be defeated by voters, thereby averting the need for further litigation.
We believe our kids should not be hostages to bad politics. We urge all Washingtonians to join us in emphatically voting NO on Tim Eyman’s I-1366.