Washington Senate Bill 5968, a bill proposed by special interests to make it easier for them to take your home without any responsibility for wrongful foreclosure, is scheduled for hearing next Wednesday at 1:30 before the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.
Unfortunately, it is all too likely this corrupt institution will give the banksters everything they want; notwithstanding our Constitution was intended to stop such special interest legislation.
It is disheartening that such corruption flourishes in the state of Washington. Indeed, Washington’s Constitution was written so as to prohibit the Washington legislature from writing legislation to emasculate the superior courts’ subject matter jurisdiction in disputes involving the title and possession of land.
Our constitution is written to protect individual rights from schemes like this by giving the superior courts enumerated, exclusive jurisdiction with regard to cases involving real property to the superior courts. But in one of the greatest mistakes ever made by Washington’s government, the court’s shirked off this responsibility; abdicating the protection of individual rights to the branch our founders always knew was the most corrupt.
Washington’s citizens feared governmental tyranny, a tyranny they generally identified with the legislative branch. The settlers, who were primarily immigrants from other states, had extensive experience with and knowledge of legislative abuses.” In addition, Washington Territory itself experienced legislative abuses. In 1862-63, the legislature reportedly passed no general laws, but enacted more than 150 pieces of special legislation for the benefit of “private interests against the general welfare.” The delegates to the Constitutional Convention carried these experiences with them; one delegate remarked that if a stranger were to step into the convention “he would conclude that we were fighting a great enemy and that this enemy is the legislature.”
Snure, Brian, 67 Wash. Law Rev. 669, 671 (1992).
The present justices on Washington’s Supreme Court know or should know by now they have a duty to strike down laws that frustrate the superior court’s exercise of their enumerated jurisdiction. Will they continue to look the other way?
Less than two years after Washington’s Constitution’s adoption, Justice Theodore L. Stiles, who along with concurring Justices Hoyt and Dunbar had been delegates to Washington’s Constitutional Convention, wrote for a unanimous court: “It is the enumeration of the particular matters which are within the original jurisdiction of the superior courts, which we interpret to mean that those matters pertain to them exclusively.” Id. This meant the legislature could not take away the superior courts’ authority to hear cases involving the title and possession of real property. In 1913 Justice Stiles explained the constitution is an instrument of limitation on the legislature. It is designed so that “[n]o legislative whim can disturb or destroy’ the inalienable natural rights of individuals.
In 2012 the Supreme Court rediscovered the meaning of the Constitution. The Court admitted its previous decisions allowing the legislature to flaunt the superior court exclusive jurisdiction was mistaken jurisprudence. Chief Justice Madsen, who is up for reelection in 2016, disagreed. But a year later in In re Buecking, where Chief Justice Madsen admitted Washington subject matter jurisdiction was “confusing” as a result of evolving concepts of jurisdiction. In my opinion his excuse for Washington’s muddled subject matter jurisdiction was disingenuous or reflects poorly on her understanding of Washington’s constitution.
We the people need our Supreme Court justices to live up to the responsibility they were given. They should not abdicate the responsibility to uphold the Declaration of Rights identified in Article I of Washington Constitution to a corrupt legislature which does not recognize the limitations Washington’s Constitution places on its power.
The mantle of protecting our rights and our neighbors rights has fallen to us. Join me at the hearing on Wednesday. If you can’t do that you can send emails or call committee members and staff before Wednesday. They are listed below.
|Benton, Don (R)
|409 Legislative Building||(360) 786-7632|
|Angel, Jan (R)
|203A Irv Newhouse Building||(360) 786-7650|
|Mullet, Mark (D)
Ranking Minority Member
|415 Legislative Building||(360) 786-7608|
|Darneille, Jeannie (D)||227 John A. Cherberg Building||(360) 786-7652|
|Fain, Joe (R)||309 Legislative Building||(360) 786-7692|
|Hobbs, Steve (D)||239 John A. Cherberg Building||(360) 786-7686|
|Litzow, Steve (R)||416 Legislative Building||(360) 786-7641|
|Pedersen, Jamie (D)||235 John A. Cherberg Building||(360) 786-7628|
|Roach, Pam (R)||112 Irv Newhouse Building||(360) 786-7660|
Finally, if any of you who are interested in delving deeper into the constitutional prohibitions placed on the legislature, here is a link to a cross motion for summary judgment I submitted yesterday in the United States Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington regarding the unconstitutionality of another statute, which like the Deed of Trust Act, was intended to strip superior courts of its authority and responsibility to decide cases within its enumerated jurisdiction.