State judge calls for return to our normal governing principles

Sep 22, 2021

Federal Way municipal court judge Dave Larson has an op-ed today in the Seattle Times calling for a return to our normal governing principles of representative government. From Judge Larson’s op-ed:

  • “This is not about vaccines; it is about preserving our form of government. Our entire system of government has been compromised by the failure to follow the basic rules of our governance.”
  • “The governor’s sole remedy is to call for a special session to request that the Legislature mandate vaccines. The proper role of the justices was to remain silent on the issue. This is an existential issue for our democratic republic. It is time to draw a line in the sand and not permit this unconstitutional overreach to occur by demanding that the respective officials reconsider their respective mandates.”
  • “The question is whether we want 147 elected representatives after open discussion and debate to create our legal obligations. Or, whether we want one person, or just a few people, after no discussion or debate to decide our legal obligations. It’s easy to agree to allow one person to decide if you agree with the decision at hand, but what happens when you are on the receiving end of a decision that you would have opposed if given the chance.”

An example of how this process should be working can be found in Connecticut. Governor Lamont today requested a special session for the legislature to grant him continued authority until February 2022 to enact targeted and limited COVID related proclamations.

We should not have to rely on watching the Governor’s press conferences to learn what the day-to-day rules will be for citizens and employers. It is time to return to normal governance via the public legislative process.

Additional Information
O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law: It’s Time to Reconsider State of Emergency Declarations for Sustained Crises
Why Washington State Needs Emergency Powers Reform (video)
How should WA state reform its emergency powers? (radio interview)

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