Washington's high court dismisses R-71 challenge
OLYMPIA, Washington: A challenge to Washington's 2009 Referendum 71 was dismissed late last week by the Washington Supreme Court citing that the issue was moot and an injunction on the measure's signatures would prevent the case from being resolved.
Local activist Arthur West challenged the Secretary of State Sam Reed's decision to certify the measure for the November 2009 ballot. According to reports, West requested that the court review the signatures. However, Reed stated that due to an injunction related to Doe v. Reed (an unrelated case) on the signatures, it prevented the release and the re-counting of the petitions. The trial court agreed. West appealed the case to the state's high court.
On Thursday, December 9, the Washington Supreme Court dismissed the case. According to the West v. Reed ruling, it stated, "This case is moot because the court can no longer provide effective relief...Since the election sought to be enjoined has been held, and the referendum was defeated, no effective relief can be granted in reviewing the superior court's decision and reversing it...The court will not address a moot issue unless the issue involves a matter of continuing and substantial public interest."