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Shea Files Initiative: We Want A Constitutional Court

The legislature and the people must respond to the court's consistent overreach.

Matt Shea

Matt Shea files initiative to the people: We Want A Constitutional Court

Spokane — Online this morning, Matt Shea, a Spokane attorney and longtime member of the Washington State House of Representatives, filed an initiative to the people called We Want A Constitutional Court (complete text is reprinted below). Here is his statement about it:

“Recent decisions by Washington’s Supreme Court have given everyone pause, including the past four attorneys general, in regard to the Court’s inability to restrain itself. The Court too often acts unanimously in case after case, begging the question as to whether dissent is even possible in the current construction of that body. It seems that the court, when configured as a nine-member bench, has a tendency to act in consensus, rather than with individual sentience. I believe that this initiative will spur a healthy and needed debate about the court.

“Article IV, Section 2 of Washington’s Constitution reads, in part: The supreme court shall consist of five judges, a majority of whom shall be necessary to form a quorum, and pronounce a decision.

“Article IV, Section 3 reads, in part: The judges of the supreme court shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state at large at the general state election at the times and places at which state officers are elected, unless some other time be provided by the legislature.

“Given these parameters, I am sponsoring this initiative for the voters’ consideration:

“I firmly believe that the legislature and the people must respond to the court’s consistent overreach. If we do not, their encroachment on our rights and the rights of the other branches of government will only escalate. We want a constitutional court. The founding fathers enshrined in our state Constitution the mandate that there be five justices on the supreme court. Let’s find out if the voters agree with our founding fathers. I look forward to the discussion and debate that this initiative will facilitate.”

Contact: Matt Shea,

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