NO on Tim Eyman's I-1366
NO on Tim Eyman's I-1366: Our Kids Shouldn't be Hostages to Bad Politics

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.

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:

Bar­bara Madsen
Chief Justice

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.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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