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0 comments | June 20, 2007 | 3:20 PM | posted by Ryan

Were politics a factor in the Washington State Supreme Court’s 6-3 Davenport decision? Very few have suggested it is, but Tracy Warner, a columnist at the Wenatchee World, believes politics played a huge part in the state justice’s decision.

Tracey poses the question: what if a Big Oil corporation had negotiated a contract with state officials requiring state workers to purchase only from that company or be fired, and the Big Oil company had charged an extra fee to fund its political campaign contributions in the state.

Would the state supreme court have ruled that requiring the Big Oil company to ask permission before spending that extra fee on politics is “entirely too much trouble for the company and detract from its political efforts” so much that it violates its First Amendment rights of free speech and free association?If the Court had supported Big Oil, would the public have remained mum about Big Oil's influence over justice?

Of course the answer is an emphatic “No!”

“If this had actually happened you could expect someone to suggest the Washington court let politics sway its view of the law, and that it appeared the court's sympathy for powerful and munificent Exxon had overcome its legal logic. People would madly question Big Oil's extreme influence over government, even the courts.”
Unions have not been shy about extending their influence to include the state’s Supreme Court justices. During last year’s Supreme Court race, unions, including the SEIU, and liberal groups formed “FairPAC,” raising $101,000 by early August.

Besides a Seattle Times editorial suggesting that the Washington State Supreme Court was “too deferential to political interests,” where is the outcry?

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