November 27th, 2019
NPI hails preliminary injunction against Tim Eyman’s I-976
Election PostmortemIn the Courts
This morning, King County Superior Court Judge Marshall Ferguson ruled that Tim Eyman’s I-976 shall be barred from being implemented until its constitutionality (or lack thereof) can be determined.
I-976 is Eyman’s most recent measure, which seeks to wipe out billions of dollars in bipartisan, voter-approved transportation investments.
“Plaintiffs have a well-grounded fear of immediate invasion of the rights afforded by the Washington Constitution due to implementation of I-976. Implementation on December 5, 2019 of an unconstitutionally misleading statewide initiative, even if approved by a majority of voters, would be an invasion per se of Plaintiffs’ rights under the Washington Constitution,” Judge Ferguson wrote in his decision.
“Put simply, enforcement of what is likely an unconstitutional law would invade Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.”
Northwest Progressive Institute founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve, who helped organize the campaign against I-976, praised the decision.
“Judge Marshall Ferguson’s order staying Tim Eyman’s I-976 is great news for Washington State,” said Villeneuve. “While this will not be the final word from our courts on I-976, it is encouraging that Judge Ferguson found that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail in their arguments against I-976.”
“I-976 is riddled with constitutional defects and was presented to voters for their consideration with a dishonest ballot title, which is unacceptable.
“No law, whether originating in the Legislature as a bill or originating from the people as an initiative, may violate our plan of government.”
“This is a bedrock principle of our democracy. After twenty years of sponsoring initiatives, you might think Tim Eyman would have learned by now how to write a constitutional initiative, but the truth is that he doesn’t seem to care whether his measures withstand constitutional scrutiny or not.”
“He certainly pretends to care, and he expresses anger when his initiatives are challenged. But someone who really did care wouldn’t throw money at an initiative until they were sure that they had dotted all of their i’s and crossed all of their t’s. Tim Eyman didn’t. Instead, he overreached, like has has so many times in the past.”
“Judge Ferguson has a duty and an obligation to defend the Constitution of Washington State and today he honored that obligation by staying I-976. As a result, our communities will not begin to suffer the grave harms of I-976’s implementation next week.”
“Our team at NPI is incredibly grateful to Judge Ferguson for acting swiftly and thoughtfully to protect our Constitution and our commonwealth from the threat of I-976. We will certainly be giving thanks today and tomorrow for the good sense, judgment, and wisdom that he has shown in reaching this decision.”