Wa. AG McKenna to argue case against electoral change before USSC

Legal News Line Aug. 9, 2007, 9:12am

Rob McKenna

OLYMPIA -- Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna won't be able to blame poor advocacy if his side goes down before the U.S. Supreme Court this October. McKenna will personally argue the case for the state opposing an initiative that would radically alter the state's election process if allowed. It has already been rejected constitutionally by two lower courts. The Supreme Court announced early this year it would rule on Washington's proposed "top-two" primary vote, LNL reported. Under the proposal the two candidates receiving the highest vote total run off in the final election no matter which party they represented. The proposal also allowed Washington candidates to run with a party symbol over the party's objection, a big concern of the lower courts. Republicans and Democrats both oppose the initiative and have filed briefs against it. It's not often that attorneys-general themselves argue state's cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, editor Richard Winger posted Monday on blogsite Ballot Access News. Winger wrote that he'd seen AGs front up before the USSC only twice since 1971, with the AGs going 1-1. The state has not used the top-two primary-vote system in an election yet. The initiative was passed by Washington's voters in 2004 but has been tied up in court action ever since. McKenna will turn 45 on the first day he argues the case before the Supreme Court - Oct. 1, Ballot Access News noted.

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