Washington state Archives

March 20, 2008

Supreme Court Upholds I-872!

Overturning the district court and the Ninth Circuit rulings, the US Supreme Court has upheld Washington's modified blanket primary! According to the Seattle Times (HT: Scotus Blog), the political parties are "fuming". Good. I hope to write a detailed analysis of the opinions, and my opinion of them, after Easter, but for now, here is a brief summary of the three opinions filed...
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October 1, 2007

Washington's Modified Blanket Primary - Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Oral arguments in the Washington primary system case took place this morning between 10:02 and 10:53, and the transcript is now available online. Justice Souter and, to a lesser degree, Justice Ginsburg seem clearly to be in favor of I-872. Justice Stevens also seems likely to vote to overturn the Ninth Circuit, though his position is not as clear. Justices Alito, Scalia, and Roberts seemed skeptical of the State's arguments, though it was not clear to me if they had made up their minds. At at least one point (p. 32) Scalia seemed to think that the parties had overstated their case...
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September 5, 2007

Washington Primary System Case to be Heard By Supreme Court

The Washington Primary System case has been accepted by the supreme court and is, in fact, the very first case on the Supreme Court docket for the upcoming season, which begins Monday October first. All the documents are now online (the newest ones are at the bottom), including the reply briefs by the Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian Parties, and amicus briefs by the California Democratic Party (the plaintiff in the most important precedent, regarding California's blanket primary, which resembled Washington's original blanket primary), and the Democratic National Committee. Summaries of the arguments of each brief follow: The State of Washington...
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March 13, 2007

The Northwest to Remain Free?

It will come as little surprise to regular readers that I am not a fan of the Real ID act, a law passed by congress mandating certain standards of identity verification for all state-issued IDs (including drivers' licenses), requiring states to share data collected in this process with the federal government, and requiring that one have such an ID in order to board planes, enter national parks, or enter federal courts (see also the ACLU's FAQ on the subject). The law orders states to come into compliance within three years or not have their IDs accepted by the federal government...
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January 25, 2007

Washington Primary System Case Appealed to Supreme Court

The State of Washington and the Washington State Grange have appealed the Ninth Circuit Court's ruling against I-872, the initiative of the people, authored by the Grange, establishing Washington's non-partisan "top-two" primary. The system was struck down by the district court and the Ninth Circuit after complaints by the Republican, Demcoratic, and Libertarian Parties. All the associated documents are here (see the bottom of the page...
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August 22, 2006

Washington Primary System Unconsitutional (Again)!

The Ninth Circuit has finally ruled on the case I have reported on several times in the past year regarding Washington state's 'modified blanket primary.' The court upheld the ruling of the district court that the system unduly burdened the free association rights of the political parties. I'm still not convinced. For one thing, section IIB[2] of the ruling seems to imply that all state-run partisan nominating primaries are inherently unconstitutional - a view that I, like most libertarians, tend to agree with - but then in the very next paragraph it begins talking as though it's ok as long...
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February 8, 2006

Update on Washington Primary System Case

The Ninth Circuit has still not released its decision in the Washington primary system case, but a WMA of the oral arguments is now online. The 45 minute audio file is worth listening to for a summary of the arguments. There is not a lot of legal jargon, and it is not boring. On the other hand, there is really nothing new here ...
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February 2, 2006

Status of Washington's Primary System

In September, I blogged on the present state of Washington's "top two" primary system. In brief, after being sued by the Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian parties to invalidate the "blanket primary," which allowed voters to vote for any one candidate for each office in the primary, regardless of party, and then sent the top vote getter from each party to the final election, voters passed on initiative a "top two" primary which permitted candidates for so-called "partisan" offices to list their party preference, but otherwise ignored parties, sending the top two vote-getters to the final election. In this system, we...
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January 10, 2006

Smoking Bans, Private Property, and the Free Market

Hammer of Truth reports today that New Jersey has been added to the list of states banning smoking in "public buildings." Washington is also one of these states. Philadelphia tried to pass a city ban some time ago, but I believe it failed (I'm not entirely sure). Now, there are two things I want everyone to know about these smoking bans: (1) they are unjust, because they violate the private property rights of restraunt and bar owners, and (2) they are unnecessary because, to the degree that people actually want non-smoking establishments, the free markent provides them. I do not...
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September 12, 2005

Whitman County Special Election

Whitman County, Washington is holding a special election, coinciding with the September 20 primary election (which doesn't seem to have any measures or candidates on it this year) to approve a "budgetary emergency" measure to levy an additional .1% sales tax for the funding of jails and juvenile detention facilitties. I had some trouble finding information on the proposition, so let me point you to item 064927 (it reads 063927 at one point - apparently a typographical error) of the Whitman Country Commissioners' meeting minutes of last August 1, available online here. The county's total budget is available as item...
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September 9, 2005

Washington Initiative 872 Unconstitutional?!

So I got a ballot today for a county special election, and was looking on the web for more information about the proposition when I made a shocking discovery: On July 15, 2005, Washington initiative 872 was declared unconstitutional in federal court! What does this mean? Let me tell you...
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