Last week several parents on behalf of themselves and their minor children filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of Washington seeking injunctive relief and for the Court to declare the closures unconstitutional as the governor’s proclamations violate the “paramount duty on the part of the state to make ‘ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.”
The underlying information alleged within the lawsuit presents facts that Plaintiffs assert demonstrate that the current state of the COVID-19 virus’ threat no longer credibly constitutes an actual emergency and that the governor’s Proclamations as a result lack a foundational basis to remove children from schools. The suit further states the governor applied a wide brush to declare all Washingtonians as being at risk when the epidemiological evidence shows that the COVID-19 infection and death rate mirrors that of Influenza and Pneumonia infection rates of past years yet no public emergency was declared then. Furthermore, the illness and death rate for those less than twenty years in age is non-existent in the state and nearly everywhere else sampled. Plaintiffs proffer that the failing of the governor to limit the scope of application of the Proclamations to those actually vulnerable to the virus, the elderly and sick, infringed upon the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs and other children who have physiologically shown no significant vulnerability to the virus yet suffered the violation of their right to education resulting from an overly-broad inclusion under the declarations of state of emergency.
The complaint also mentions the sub-par nature of the education provided the minor Plaintiffs by the state, equating in one example only an hour of education and that much of what is expected is for grade school children to self-initiate and self direct their own education. One child, resides at times with a parent who has no Internet service at his residence and thus cannot facilitate an ample accomodation to meet the child’s special educational needs.
Though the state ordered us to Stay at Home and cower, it was of great necessary for me to drive to the Washington State Coast on “essential business travel related to maintaining critical infrastructure”. Yet, I did manage somehow to find a few moments during this noble duty to brave hazardous viral shoals, and pandemically mutated Coho-vid Salmon to bring you a few photographs of the infested outdoors. Please, do not worry for me–I had my cloth facemask somewhere in the glovebox and Geiger counter on a shelf in the garage, so I was protected.
To date, three county sheriffs in Washington State broke ranks and announced they will not enforce some of Governor Inslee’s executive orders relating to his several, and increasingly frequent lockdown orders–proclaimed under the auspices of state of emergency declarations to the COVID-19 situation. The dominant subject of dissent among these law enforcement officials centers around what are regarded as unconstitutional intrusions by the governor enacted against the citizens of their respective counties and the inconsistency of regulations applied unequally by the state.
It is my belief that unless a strong reversal of Governor Inslee’s resolve to remain steadfast in his prosecution of ordinary Washingtonians is not fielded soon, the “insubordination” as he claims will only grow and serve to weaken his position, adding spark to a movement against him and his office if it continues in its present form for months.
The time has come for the governor to put his ego aside. For if he chooses to adversarily engage these sheriffs and others who will come to join them he will lose in the courts of public opinion of these various counties.
It is my analysis and view that Washington Governor Inslee’s declaration cancelling the entirety of the remaining school year under the rubric of the COVID-19 situation possibly violates the Washington State Constitution.
The state’s Supreme Court held in McCleary v. Washington that “The word “ample” in article IX, section 1 provides a broad constitutional guideline meaning fully, sufficient, and considerably more than just adequate.“
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has once again submitted to absurdity, this time by declaring that the hunting of bear and turkey presents a threat to public safety.
No, it is not that bears and their natural allies–the gobblers of Washington–have formed an alliance and threatened retaliation against suburbia if hunters invaded their lands. It is more insidious. Hunting outdoors spreads COVID-19 among the human population.
The restrictions enforced against Washingtonians are approaching absurdity. Somehow Washington State believes that fishing alone in the middle of Banks Lake will lead to worsening the COVID19 outbreak, so it banned recreational fishing. Yet going into a crowded big box store to panic-buy toilet paper and bags of flour is legal and safe.
Is there a threat that we the public are not aware. Is it that Corona Viruses from China can waft into the jet stream and drop like paratroops onto fisherman at Westport? Might it be frightfully possible that we may be swallowed whole by mutant razor clams lurking beneath the sand. What, if we may ask, is this horrorshow?
I suspect it is one of the worst kind of threat…a government agency given too much authority.
As many know I am often a staunch critic of Washington’s child protective services and a system that at times has shown itself to be rife with incompetence, vindictiveness, and laziness. For the past several years hardly a six month time period elapses without news of yet another major debacle occurring that shatters the life of a child or family member and results in millions of dollars paid out by the state in damages.
But the latest spell in my view goes beyond the usual bureaucratic blundering and crosses a line into what many would consider to be corruption.
Last year Washington State government’s knee-jerk reaction to a mass shooting resulted in a legislated ban of “Bump-Fire” modifications to semi-automatic firearms. A few legislators submitted an amendment to the impending legislation allowing for a buy back program where residents of the state could receive a voucher for up to $150.00 per stock if they surrendered the stocks either directly to the State Patrol or received a receipt issued for one by a local law enforcement agency.
While some, including myself, had objections to the government’s taking of property without just compensation, which was in some fashion allayed by a price offered that was reasonable considering the market cost for such rifle stocks, the implementation of the buy-back program was not well thought out–which is usually the case with quickly crafted laws.
While some residents having these stocks might find the offer from the state attractive, I do not believe the amount offered is sufficient to offset potential risks associated with turning in these stocks and expecting payment. The buy-back program is also widely open to profiteering and manipulation.
It seems that Washington Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib is so frightened of the notion of citizens having lawfully carried concealed pistols, that he is unable to fulfill his duty as a result.
The Lieutenant Governor ducked out of the annual State of the State address given by Washington Governor Inslee because he felt vulnerable. The House Chamber has galleries open to the public and both state law and House rules allow those having concealed pistol licenses to attend the event. Despite the fact that the governor, representatives, senators, and the nine supreme court justices did not express feeling any danger, and there was no credible threats made against the lieutenant governor, he announced he would not participate unless his fears were allayed by policy change.
Since just about every area in Washington allows permitted concealed carry and open carry of firearms, save for a few narrowly defined exceptions, how is it that Lt. Governor Habib can summon the courage to leave home?
A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled June 27th that in addition to recognizing tribal fishing rights, pursuant to the Stevens Treaties entered in the middle 1850s between Indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest and the Washington Territorial Governor, the government is mandated to protect the viability of sustainable fishing to preserve the allocation to local tribes.
In signing these treaties, the tribes relinquished “swaths of land, watersheds, and offshore waters adjacent to these areas…in what is now the State of Washington. In exchange, the Tribes were guaranteed a right to engage in off-reservation fishing.”
The panel held that in building and maintaining barrier culverts within Washington, the state violated, and continues to violate, its obligation to the Tribes under the treaties.
Ruling on statutory grounds, Skagit County, Washington Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis held that a public hospital offering maternity services to women must also offer abortion services. Referring patients to Planned Parenthood, the court ruled, violates state law regarding abortion services provided to patients. The suit was brought on behalf of a plaintiff patient by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The fundamental conflict in the case litigated was ostensibly due to the defendant hospital district’s position that while agreeing to offer such services, it experienced difficulty in complying due to lack of health professionals willing to perform abortions. State law does allow heath care professionals to decline to perform voluntary abortions for personal reasons.
For other public hospital districts, the ACLU served notice requesting similar compliance with state law.
There was an interesting case last month before the Washington Supreme Court where the court was asked to determine the admissibility of evidence obtained during the defendants’ booking process related to criminal street gang affiliation.
Defendants in the case, Ricardo Juarez Deleon, Anthony Deleon, and Octavio Robledo moved to suppress evidence gathered by the state obtained through questions relating to the alleged involvement in gang activity while in the furtherance of a crime, a sentencing enhancement and a status in of itself that can be in violation of law or subject a defendant to revocation of probation and other court imposed restrictions.
A legitimate state purpose exists in asking arrestees if they are gang-affiliated or have hostility toward other inmates for the purpose of order and the safety of staff and the inmate population. It is well known that members of rival gangs housed together lead to a probability of fighting and disruption. A question remains if an arrestee should a choice between answering that they are gang-affiliated to secure a protection through separate housing and remaining silent and face retaliation from other inmates. The petitioners argue this constitutes duress where they are unlawfully required to make incriminating statements to protect their safety.
Samuel Hoffer did not exactly get the position he was hoping for when he applied to be a Wildlife Enforcement Officer with the Muckleshoot Tribe. He is now facing charges for alleged Vehicular Homicide after a background interview was reportedly highlighted by his admission to a deadly drunk driving incident occurring in 2012.
This is the latest in a series of articles, HERE, and HERE, where applicants make career and freedom limiting moves by applying for law enforcement jobs and are subsequently jailed for providing incriminating evidence.
In April 2013 our host published an article featuring Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson had sued Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts after she had refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding.
Washington’s consumer protection act bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation AG Ferguson sought a $2000 penalty for each violation and to end the business’ allegedly discriminatory practices. The case garnered considerable attention in both the state and nationally in which the religious rights of business owners do not necessarily comport in some cases with antidiscrimination statutes which require equal services be provided for all customers.
Law Enforcement Officers in Coulee Dam, Washington arrested thirty-seven year old Assistant-Principal Nate Piturachsatit on two counts of possession of child pornography, three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.
The case stems from an investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Mr. Piturachsatit is accused of soliciting and sending sexually explicit pictures to of 14-year-old girl residing in Wisconsin. Court documents allege that Mr. Piturachsatit conveyed these images via Instagram using his cell phone. Fortunately, no other minors are presently suspected as being victims. Continue reading “Assistant School Principal Accused of Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor”→