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0 comments | May 14, 2007 | 4:26 PM | posted by Ryan

Was Rep. McDermott duped or did he know all along?

The Washington Education Association (WEA) filed a supplemental brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington v. Washington Education Association and Davenport v. Washington Education Association on Friday, May 11, 2007 arguing that they now believe RCW 42.17.760 is Constitutional. Of course, Friday was the day Governor Gregoire signed HB 2079, the bill that, according to the AP, will allow “labor unions to spend nonmembers' bargaining fees on political causes without first getting their permission.”

The WEA brief argues that, as amended, .760 is now constitutional and any SCOUS ruling will “control only as to the statute’s retrospective application.” The Court’s decision won’t apply to the union’s future activities.

  • According to its sponsors and the union, this bill, supposedly, was not going to affect the case before the U.S. Supreme Court. For the union, either this was a classic case of “not letting the left hand know what the right hand was doing” or it was premeditated misinformation to politicians, the public, and news venues.
  • This also explains why Gregoire left the emergency clause in the bill. Were the law not immediately in effect, the WEA could not have filed this brief. Obviously there was some behind-the-scenes planning.

During the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee hearing, Rep. Joe McDermott, said the bill does not affect the U.S. Supreme Court Case. (House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee Hearing on February 20, 2007 at 6:00:00 PM at 1:37 on the recording:)

“This bill does not interfere with the court case that has recently been argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. That case, um, delves into the First Amendment, um, constitutionality of the underlying statute.

“This amendment, this addition to the existing statute, um, in no way changes, or even, um, makes more palatable to the court the First Amendment issue being argued before them.

“If the statute is struck down, what we’re adding in this bill to this statute would go down with it. It doesn’t make it any easier to defend or uphold.”

McDermott’s statement was repeated by both the House and Senate legislative committee staff, the union officials testifying in support of the bill, and the House Bill Summary: “The bill does not interfere with the Supreme Court case.”

Maybe Rep. Joe McDermott should give a declaration affirming that HB 2079 has no effect on the USSC case (We can probably get the same from the union officials who testified in committee too.).

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