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Bill would require justices to draw straws for job

Posted by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM
  • 9 Replies

 http://news.yahoo.com/bill-require-justices-draw-straws-133607921.html

Bill would require justices to draw straws for job

Week after tax ruling, Republican senators seek to cut state Supreme Court by 4 justices

By Rachel La Corte, Associated Press | Associated Press- 1 hr 24 mins ago

 

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Still stinging from a Supreme Court ruling last week that overturned tax-increase constraints on the Legislature, three Republican senators have introduced a bill seeking to cut the high court by four justices.

The measure, introduced Wednesday, would require a public meeting for the current nine justices to draw straws. The four that draw the shortest straws "shall be terminated and those judges shall not serve the remainder of their respective unexpired terms."

Any savings to the state would be used to fund basic education. That section is a reference to the court's order that the Legislature is not fulfilling its constitutional duty to pay for education in the state.

Republican Sen. Michael Baumgartner, of Spokane, insists it's a serious bill, saying that as the Legislature looks to make cuts in other areas of state government, "why should the judiciary be exempt?"

Supreme Court justicescurrently make more than $164,000 a year. Baumgartner said that by reducing the court, you also reduce salaries that need to be paid to their clerks and other staffers.

"There's a lot of school teachers you could hire with these salaries," he said.

When asked about the drawing straws scenario, he said it was "simply an issue of making it fair."

Sen. Doug Ericksen, of Ferndale, and Janea Holmquist Newbry, of Moses Lake, have signed on to the bill, as well.

In a 6-3 ruling last week, the court ruled that an initiative requiring a two-thirds requirement for tax increases was in conflict with the state constitution and that lawmakers and the people of Washington would need to pass a constitutional amendmentin order to change from a simple majority to a supermajority.

It's been estimated that the state needs about $4 billion to fulfill its constitutional promise to fully pay for basic education by 2018. The Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature to show meaningful progress toward that goal during this session. The state also faces an estimated $975 million shortfall for the next biennium.

Baumgartner's bill notes that originally, only five justices sat on the state Supreme Court, as written in the state constitution. In 1905, the Legislature permanently expanded the court to seven justices, and in 1909, it was increased to the present nine. Under his measure, the number of judges on the court could be increased by a constitutional amendment - the same requirement the court said was necessary for a two-thirds requirement for tax increase votes.

To pass a constitutional amendment, two-thirds majority of the Legislature must give its approval and then a vote of the people.

Chief Justice Barbara Madsen isn't worried that she'll be drawing straws on the Supreme Court steps any time soon. Noting that only three justices come up for election at any time, and that all of the justices are in office until at least 2014, she said she's not certain the bill doesn't run afoul of the constitution.

"It certainly seems unlikely it could be done," she said. "It just does not appear to me to be completely thought through, if it's intended to be serious at all."

___

The measure is Senate Bill 5867

 

Ok, I have to admit, I chuckled at the idea.

Is it just retaliatory fit throwing because they didn't get their way or is it a valid bill with merit?

by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM
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Replies (1-9):
meriana
by Platinum Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 10:24 AM
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Probably just more "fit-throwing". It does seem that these days, when Republicans don't get their way or at least the majority of what they want, whether it be at the individual state level or the national level, they come up with a bill of some sort that they feel, if passed, will give them more power than the other side and they'll then finally be able to do what they want. I seriously doubt some of them ever think past that, let alone get to the point of considering what the people would want; what would be good for the state or nation as a whole.

GLWerth
by Gina on Mar. 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM
1 mom liked this

Retaliatory fit...it's what the Republicans do.

tscritch
by Silver Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM

 It does seem to be par for the course for them. The idea of drawing straws cracks me up though.

 

Quoting GLWerth:

Retaliatory fit...it's what the Republicans do.

 

tscritch
by Silver Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 10:42 AM

 

What do you think they would do if that's how we held elections...sort of. Made them draw straws, no voting, if you drew the short straw you are out then we will elect a new Senator/Congress member. I wonder it would cut down on special interests or make it worse....

(No, I am not suggesting this or think it is a good idea or would even work...just entertaining the thought)

NewMom11222011
by Bronze Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Why don't they use the same method as Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and have them draw stones, one of them being black.  The person with the black one is stoned to death.  Rinse, repeat three times, done.  Makes every bit as much sense.

Mama2Spencerninja

tscritch
by Silver Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM

 Great short story!!!

Quoting NewMom11222011:

Why don't they use the same method as Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and have them draw stones, one of them being black.  The person with the black one is stoned to death.  Rinse, repeat three times, done.  Makes every bit as much sense.

 

NewMom11222011
by Bronze Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Yes, it is.  If you liked that, you might like the novel "Harvest Home" by Tom Tryon.

Quoting tscritch:

 Great short story!!!

Quoting NewMom11222011:

Why don't they use the same method as Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and have them draw stones, one of them being black.  The person with the black one is stoned to death.  Rinse, repeat three times, done.  Makes every bit as much sense.

 


Mama2Spencerninja

tscritch
by Silver Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Quoting NewMom11222011:

Yes, it is.  If you liked that, you might like the novel "Harvest Home" by Tom Tryon.

Quoting tscritch:

 Great short story!!!

Quoting NewMom11222011:

Why don't they use the same method as Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and have them draw stones, one of them being black.  The person with the black one is stoned to death.  Rinse, repeat three times, done.  Makes every bit as much sense.

 


 Thanks!!! I will have to check it out!

 

coronado25
by Silver Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 1:17 PM

I like that idea.

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