It has been a week for court decisions here in Washington and the United States.
The Washington State Supreme Court held oral arguments Thursday for initiative 940, a measure approved by the Washington Legislature that would make new standards around police shootings. The initiative, led by family members of victims, would be law except for the intervention of initiative-aficionado Tim Eyman.
Eyman sued, saying that the Legislature had changed meaningful bits of the initiative after it arrived in Olympia. He asserts that the original legislation and the tweaked version should be put to voters.
Mothers of children at risk of state violence eagerly await the decision.
The United States Supreme Court upheld the travel ban on people intending to come to the United States from seven countries, five of which have majority Muslim populations.
The issue at hand was whether or not the Trump administration had improperly banned entry to the United States for people from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea.
In an strongly-worded dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor compared the ruling to the 1944 Korematsu v. United States decision that allowed for the detention of Japanese Americans in concentration camps. She noted the president’s anti-Muslim statements.
Trump has made many, such as “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the administration, holding that despite the president’s rhetoric, the ban was facially neutral.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced Wednesday that he would resign his post as of July 31. If Congress approves Trump’s next pick to fill the lifetime appointment, it could threaten abortion rights, LGBTQ rights and affirmative action in the United States.
Kennedy, a conservative appointed by Ronald Reagan, was considered the most powerful man in America by pundits. He was the crucial swing vote on the court that upheld provisions of the Affordable Care Act, gay marriage, women’s right to choose and other progressive issues.
Democrats are furious, in part because Kennedy’s retirement would not be so crucial except that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held Justice Antonin Scalia’s spot after his death, depriving then-President Barack Obama of the chance to appoint a new justice.
At the time, McConnell claimed that the American people deserved a vote on the matter because it was an election year. Let’s see if he respects the McConnell Rule now.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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