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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

Category: State Supreme Court
January 19, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Homelessness 3 times more likely among state’s black, Native American kids

OLYMPIA — As speakers and protesters here celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, some sobering new numbers are out on student homelessness in Washington state. Black and Native American K-12 students in Washington state are three times more likely to be homeless than white students, according to numbers by the state Office of Superintendent of Public…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature, State Supreme Court | Topics: homelessness, McCleary decision, washington low-income housing alliance

January 16, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Guns, taxes and football: things Inslee said Friday

With the first week of the legislative session in the bag, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee held a news conference Friday morning to give his thoughts on guns, taxes, football and other issues. The highlights: 1. The governor said he supports legislation to provide a one-year “cooling off” period before elected officials and top-level government workers can…


Comments | More in Governor, State Supreme Court | Topics: guns, Jay Inslee, McCleary decision

January 14, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Republican Rep. Manweller on why he dissed Supreme Court

Corrected version OLYMPIA — There has been plenty of tension lately between legislators and the state Supreme Court over the court’s McCleary ruling and contempt order finding lawmakers failing their constitutional duty to amply fund public schools. Lawmakers have filed a bill to force justices to declare partisan affiliations and run for…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State government, State Legislature, State Supreme Court | Topics: McCleary decision, Rep. Matt Manweller, State Supreme Court

December 31, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Our top 10 most-read Politics NW posts of 2014

Before we look ahead to 2015, let’s look back at what piqued your interest in the last year. Here be the 10 most-read Politics NW posts of the last year: 10. Former Seattle Mayor McGinn takes new job, says no plans to seek return to elected office 9. Supreme Court finds Legislature in contempt on education funding 8….


Comments | More in 2014 elections, Education, Gun initiative, Seattle City Council, State legislative races, State Supreme Court | Topics: 2014 elections, Barack Obama, Jay Inslee

December 29, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Lawmakers nix the session’s State of the Judiciary speech

State lawmakers have decided to forgo one custom that they’ve had since the 1990s: a State of the Judiciary speech.

The speech, given by the state Supreme Court’s chief justice, has been given at the start of every budget session – which is every odd-numbered year – in a joint address to the House and Senate. The practice goes back to at least 1995; here’s footage of the one given by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen in 2013.

In state politics, 2014 will go down as the year the court held legislators in contempt for not making enough progress to fully fund public education. Earlier this month, some lawmakers protested the court’s action by filing a bill to make court races partisan.

In a recent Facilities and Operations Committee meeting, lawmakers decided not to schedule the State of the Judiciary address. Legislative leaders, however, insist the decision is not in retaliation for the contempt ruling.

“I don’t think either chamber is eager to go after the Supreme Court,” said House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan,  D-Covington. “This is not a slap in the face to the court.”


Comments | More in State Legislature, State Supreme Court | Topics: Mark Schoesler, McCleary decision, Pat Sullivan

December 19, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Lawmakers jab Supreme Court: bill would make races partisan

You could call it The “Go Pound Sand” Act of 2015. In a shot at the state Supreme Court, 19 state representatives — including three Democrats — have filed House Bill 1051, which would turn races for the state’s high court into partisan contests. (The court’s nine justices are now elected in nonpartisan races.) The…


Comments | More in 2014 elections, State Legislature, State Supreme Court | Topics: McCleary, Rep. Richard DeBolt, Washington State Supreme Court

August 4, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Former governors ask court for delay in McCleary case

Update| 5:58 p.m.: Earlier today, we wrote about two friend-of-the-court briefs concerning the upcoming state Supreme Court hearing on the McCleary decision. Then we found out that every single living former governor of Washington got together and filed their own brief. Yep, every single one. Their message is simple. Instead of punishing the state Legislature in September’s hearing, the former governors…


Comments | More in Education, Politics Northwest, State Supreme Court | Topics: Columbia Legal Services, McCleary decision, The Children's Alliance

April 17, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Hilyer running for Supreme Court

Former King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer is running for the state Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice James M. Johnson’s retirement at the end of the month. Johnson announced his retirement last month, citing health concerns. Considered the court’s most conservative member, Johnson was not due up for reelection until 2016. Gov. Jay…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Supreme Court | Topics: Bruce Hilyer

March 17, 2014 at 12:27 PM

State Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson to retire

James M. Johnson, who is considered the most conservative member of the state Supreme Court, will retire next month due to “recent health concerns,” the justice announced Monday. Johnson, who goes by Jim, was not up for re-election until 2016. Instead, he will leave April 30. He was re-elected without a general-election opponent in 2010. “This has been…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Supreme Court | Topics: Barbara Madsen, Jay Inslee, Justice Jim Johnson

February 17, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Baumgartner uses bill to mock state Supreme Court

State Sen. Michael Baumgartner has introduced a bill that borrows language from a recent state Supreme Court ruling to mock the justices he believes have overstepped their constitutional boundaries. Senate Bill 6568 would order the court to increase the number of cases it considers annually by 50 percent by the 2017-2018 calendar and require the…


Comments | More in State Legislature, State Supreme Court | Topics: Michael Baumgartner, satire, State Supreme Court

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