Washington Supreme Court

Washington Supreme Court
4:54 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Washington's First Openly-Gay Supreme Court Justice Sworn Into Office

New Washington state Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu is applauded by current court members behind as she acknowledges the gallery after being sworn in to the bench Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Olympia, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The Washington Supreme Court's first openly gay justice has been sworn into the bench. Former King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu is also the first Asian American and first female Hispanic member of the court.

Yu took the oath in Washington’s Temple of Justice on Tuesday. Afterward, she expressed some relief that she won’t face an opponent in the fall election.

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High Court
2:36 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Inslee Appoints First Openly Gay Supreme Court Justice

King County Judge Mary Yu has been appointed to Washington Supreme Court.
Austin Jenkins

Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu to the Washington Supreme Court. Yu replaces two-term Justice James Johnson who stepped down this week for health reasons. Johnson was viewed as a lone conservative voice on the high court.

Yu will be the first woman of color, the first Asian-American, the first Latina and the first openly LGBT justice on our state's highest court.  

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Washington Supreme Court
6:54 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

State High Court Points to Police Negligence in Woman's Murder

aidaneus Flickr

Advocates for victims of domestic violence are praising a Washington Supreme Court decision that they say could help save lives.

The case concerns the serving of an anti-harassment order by the Federal Way Police Department on a man who later killed his girlfriend.

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Politics
5:05 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Washington Supreme Court tosses out supermajority tax vote requirement

Cacophony Wikipedia

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:05 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Democrats say it’s a victory for democracy. Republicans call it a defeat for taxpayers. In a major decision Thursday, the Washington Supreme Court tossed out the state’s two-thirds supermajority requirement for raising taxes. In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that the voter-approved law violates a provision of the Washington state constitution that requires a simple majority vote in the state legislature to approve bills.

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Death penalty
9:48 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Washington Supreme Court overturns Stenson death sentence 

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington state Supreme Court has reversed the conviction and death sentence of Darold Stenson and called for a new trial in his double murder case.

On an 8-1 ruling Thursday, the high court ruled that Stenson's rights were violated because the state "wrongfully suppressed" from the defense photographs that raised questions about mishandling of evidence as well as an FBI file.

Stenson was sentenced to death in 1994 for the 1993 slaying of his wife, Denise, and a business partner, Frank Hoerner, at Stenson's Clallam County exotic bird farm.

Traffic laws
12:01 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

You don't have the right to vote on red light cameras, court rules

What a red light camera sees.
The Associated Press

The Washington Supreme Court says voters do not have the right to vote on the use of red light cameras for traffic enforcement.  In a 5 to 4 ruling on a case involved a proposition on the ballot in the city of Mukilteo, the justices held that:

“Because the legislature expressly granted authority to the governing body of the city of Mukilteo to enact ordinances on the use of automated traffic safety cameras, the subject of Proposition 1 is not within the initiative power.”

In November 2010, Mukilteo voters approved Proposition 1 by a 70 percent margin. The Proposition had the backing of anti-tax activist Tim Eyman.

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Gun laws
5:19 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Seattle wants gun ban reinstated by state high court

The city of Seattle is asking the Washington Supreme Court to determine whether municipalities can ban people from carrying guns in local parks and community centers where children gather.

Seattle instituted its ban in 2009. Several individuals with concealed weapons permits challenged the ban, and a King County Superior Court judge struck down the ban as preempted by state law governing firearms regulation.

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Courts
4:00 am
Mon June 20, 2011

Mistakes about race corrupt many eyewitness accounts

Null Value Flickr

If you’ve witnessed a crime, you’ll swear you can accurately identify the person who did it. But, there’s a good chance you’re wrong, especially if that person is of a different race. Still, jurors believe eyewitness accounts.

And, in Washington state, the law doesn't allow judges to tell juries about the problems associated with cross-racial eyewitness identification. One Court of Appeals judge says that's wrong.

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K-12 Education
2:28 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Supreme Court says state not shortchanging special education

The Washington Supreme Court has dealt a blow to a dozen school districts across the state that sought more money for special education.  Today, the court said the districts did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the state underfunds the programs, a violation of its constitution

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