Via the Spokesman Review:
A gun control initiative should not appear on the November ballot because the proposed changes in the law on the petitions that some 378,000 voters signed were not readable, a Thurston County Superior Court judge said.
Judge James Dixon agreed with gun-rights advocates that the size of the print was too small and the proposed changes not clearly marked.
“I have 20-20 vision. I can’t read it,” Dixon said in granting a court order to keep Initiative 1639 off the ballot.
A notice of appeal was filed within minutes after the order was drafted and signed, and will go to the state Supreme Court on an expedited process in an effort to get a decision before counties have to print ballots in early September.
Safe Schools Safe Communities spent nearly $2.8 million to pay people to gather signatures for the initiative.
Via the Seattle Times:
A Thurston County judge Friday dealt a major blow to a proposed firearms-regulation measure, raising questions about whether Initiative 1639 will appear on Washington’s fall ballot.
Superior Court Judge James Dixon ruled that the formatting of the signature petitions used in the Alliance For Gun Responsibility’s campaign “did not comport” with Washington law.
Dixon’s decision, however, might not stand for very long, according to Hugh Spitzer, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law.
The state Supreme Court has generally “been quite hesitant to knock out initiatives because of technical defects,” said Spitzer. As a result, Dixon’s decision appears to be “inconsistent with a century of case law,” he added.
I find it “interesting” that the Spokesman Review mentions the size of the print was a critical issue in the decision while the Seattle Time does not even mention print size.
The Washington State Supreme Court has been rather mixed in it’s support of gun ownership in recent years. The Second Amendment Foundation and the NRA have kept this particular legal battle over the process of the initiative rather than the constitutional issues at stake. So perhaps this will somewhat dull the court’s dislike for private gun ownership.