The petition to recall Judge Stephen Holman moves to the WA State Supreme Court. Early last week, Judge Frank Cuthbertson “dismissed” a citizens petition to recall Judge Holman. Judge Frank Cuthbertson ruled that it is the “courts” function to protect “public officials” from insufficient allegations contained in a petition for the recall of any elected official. Judge Cuthbertson didn’t explain why the very fact that a “voter” can make this decision by either “voting for or against” the recall, as the constitution provides, but only that it is in his power to make that decision for voters.
Scheidler vowed to protect our constitutional rights of petition, and a voter’s right to decide, and is taking this matter to the WA State Supreme Court. But that maneuver isn’t as simple as it should be. Scheidler contends that the “courts” intrusion into a citizens constitutional right to bring a recall petition to the voters is unconstitutional. WA Constitution Article 1, Section 33, says nothing about a court being a ‘gatekeeper’ or having a function to “protect an elected official” against voters. The rub is the “Court” will decide its own power. This raises other constitutional and statutory issues – if governments are only granted “just powers” as Article 1, Section 1 states, how can a court (the judicial government of the state) decide for itself its “just powers”. Furthermore, WA Law “limits” what the Supreme Court can do and what “decisions” it can make. RCW 2.28 and more specifically RCW 2.04.020, which seems to say that the Supreme Court can only make decisions that meet with the approval of citizens by the language of RCW 4.04.010 that says, “according to the rules and procedures of the common law.” The wrinkle comes in what the legislature goes on to say about the “common law”, and this is pivotal.
Extent to which common law prevails.
The common law, so far as it is not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States, or of the state of Washington nor incompatible with the institutions and condition of society in this state, shall be the rule of decision in all the courts of this state.
Scheidler contends that “just powers” a “voters rights” a “citizens rights of recall” and the language of RCW 4.04.010 all mean that “citizens” must be the ultimate arbiter, NOT government deciding from themselves what their power is. Scheidler is demanding the Supreme Court transfer this case to another court “outside the state” or place the issue before a jury.
But these twists and turns aren’t the only ones in this case … Are the Court’s “court rules” established and applied as mandated by the delegated authority to establish rules? Can the Court’s “court rules” be used to deprive a citizen of a “jury trial”? Must WA State Bar associates disqualify from serving as judge when another WA State Bar associate is a party? And there are still more twists and turns.
So stay tuned…. I’m sure the Kitsap County Prosecutor, who is representing Judge Stephen Holman will be asking the Supreme Court “sanction” Scheidler because of his claims to his constitutional right is “frivolous.”