Washington Supreme Court | KUOW News and Information

Washington Supreme Court

Temple of Justice, Washington Supreme Court, Olympia
Flickr Photo/Aidan Wakely-Mulroney/https://flic.kr/p/dsJvKb

The Washington State Supreme Court has raised the bar for removing jurors of color from an all-white panel.


The Washington Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision Thursday in a ruling that suggests the Port of Vancouver violated public meetings law while negotiating a lease for an oil terminal.

The court largely sided with environmental groups who argued the port commissioners violated the public meetings law by excluding the public from deliberations about the controversial Tesoro-Savage oil terminal lease.

On January 25, 1997, Cecil Emile Davis, a “violent offender” on state supervision, broke into the Tacoma home of 65-year-old Yoshiko Couch. Once inside he raped and beat her and then suffocated her by holding a rag soaked in cleaning solvents over her mouth.

Davis was later convicted of aggravated first degree murder and sentenced to death.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) vehicle in downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Washington state’s highest-ranking judge is still waiting for federal immigration officials to write her back.

Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst requested that courthouses be off limits for immigration arrests. But that option will likely stay on the table for now.

The Washington State Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a florist who declined to do flowers for a same-sex wedding broke the state’s anti-discrimination law. But the same-sex couple who won the case, isn’t celebrating too enthusiastically just yet.

The highest court in Washington state says a florist violated the state's anti-discrimination law when she refused to provide floral services to a gay couple.

Bill Radke talks to Northwest News Network reporter Anna King about the case against Arlene's Flowers in Richland being decided in the Washington State Supreme Court.  

Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll are suing Arlene's Flowers for refusing to take their business when they were looking for a florist to arrange their wedding flowers. 

The Washington Supreme Court Tuesday heard the case of a florist versus a same-sex couple who wanted flowers for their wedding in 2013. The owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, refused to take the job, saying it was against her religious beliefs.

Back in 2013, Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll were engaged to be married. Ingersoll remembers it was on a Friday, his birthday, when he asked the couple's long-time florist, Arlene's Flowers, to do arrangements for their upcoming wedding.

"We had gone to Arlene's for many years and enjoyed her service. She did a great job for us. So it was just natural for us to go there and have her do our flowers," Ingersoll says.

State and federal law protect the rights of Native American children even when one of their parents is not Indian. That’s the word today from the Washington state Supreme Court.

A police officer who was bitten in the genitals by a police dog is not entitled to sue for damages without first proving negligence. That was the decision Thursday from a narrowly divided Washington Supreme Court.

Bill Radke sits down with KUOW education reporter Ann Dornfeld to talk about the state of Washington's charter schools. They’re growing in enrollment, but face a new legal challenge.

It was nearly a decade ago that the McCleary family sued the state of Washington over school funding. In the years since, the state Supreme Court has sided with the family, found the state in contempt of court and imposed a $100,000 per day fine.

It’s back to school time. It was also back to court Wednesday for lawyers in an ongoing school funding lawsuit in Washington state.

Alan Copsey, center, a deputy attorney general for the state of Washington, speaks during a hearing before the Washington State Supreme Court regarding a lawsuit against the state over education funding, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, in Olympia, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Kim Malcolm talks with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about this week's state Supreme Court hearing over funding public education in Washington.

Washington state schools superintendent Randy Dorn filed a lawsuit Tuesday in King County Superior Court against seven school districts for using levy dollars to boost teacher salaries.

Dorn said the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision was clear: Under the state Constitution, teacher salaries must be funded by the Legislature, not levies. 

Students at Margaret Mead Elementary in Sammamish load their lunch trays beneath a canopy of bird netting. The school is so crowded that children line up for lunch outside.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Close down public schools in Washington.

State education chief Randy Dorn says that drastic action might be needed to force the Legislature to find enough money to pay for public schools.


The Washington Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday morning about the legality of anti-tax activist Tim Eyman's latest voter-approved initiative.

The Washington Legislature has no plans to impeach indicted State Auditor Troy Kelley. And now it’s clear he also won’t be recalled from office.

The Washington Supreme Court will likely decide the fate of a voter-approved tax-limiting measure. A judge in King County ruled Thursday that Initiative 1366, approved in November, is unconstitutional.

In 1933, Washington state had an income tax. So what happened?
Illustration by Drew Christie

What is the history of Washington state's political allergy to an income tax? Steven Thomson of Olympia posed this question to KUOW's Local Wonder.

We had an income tax once in Washington state.

It was during the Great Depression, and a lot of people were down and out.

People were so excited about the income tax that they voted twice. First, they changed the state constitution to allow the tax. Then voters approved the tax – 70 percent in favor.

Families at Rainier Prep, a charter school, at a work party last summer.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Charter schools are unconstitutional, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled late Friday afternoon – dropping a bombshell just days after some charter schools opened their doors. 

Washington state voters approved charter schools in 2012, after rejecting them three times.

Liban Ahmed handles baggage at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. He says he'll use the extra money to buy a car, save for college and visit his mom in Mogadishu, who he has not seen in 15 years.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

About 4,700 workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are about to get a big raise. The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that the city of SeaTac’s $15 an hour minimum wage applies to airport employees.

Demonstrators stand on the steps of the Temple of Justice and in view of the Legislative Building as they advocate for more state spending on education prior to a hearing before the state Supreme Court on Sept. 3, 2014, in Olympia.
AP photo/Elaine Thompson

The Washington state Supreme Court is fining the Legislature $100,000 a day effective immediately for failing to come up with a plan to fully fund K-12 education.

The fines, levied Thursday, stem from the McCleary case, brought by families and others who said the state wasn’t meeting its constitutional obligation to “amply fund” basic education in this state.

Seattle moms Sarah Weigle and Julia Crouch and their daughter Maya. Although married in Washington state, Crouch chose to adopt their daughter to protect her status as a parent across the U.S.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on gay marriage this month. The high court decision could mark the end of a complicated legal era in which same-sex couples have had to jump through legal hoops to legally protect their family unit.

Public utility districts in Washington have the right to place power lines through state trust lands. That was the decision from the Washington Supreme Court.

Flickr Photo/OnceAndFutureLaura

David Hyde speaks with the Justice Mary Yu, who was sworn in to the Washington Supreme Court on May 20, 2014.  She's the first Asian-American and openly gay Supreme Court justice in Washington.

Larry Jametsky and Christina Stewart back at home in SeaTac, Wash., Dec. 2014
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Larry Jametsky lost his home in SeaTac through a “foreclosure rescue” scam. He and his family were homeless for years while his case made its way through the courts.

But last February, the Washington Supreme Court ruled unanimously that his case should be reexamined. Two months later, Jametsky got his house back.

In 2008, Jametsky signed what he thought was a loan, but he’d actually sold his house for a fraction of its value. What he thought were loan payments were in fact rent payments.

law court crime
Flickr Photo/Joe Gratz (CC BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/bkUna

Ross Reynolds speaks with Emily Cordo, legal director for Sexual Violence Legal Services at the YWCA, about the Washington Supreme Court's 6-3 opinion that the state cannot require defendants in rape cases to prove that their alleged victim consented in order to escape conviction.

Flickr Photo/Nick Amoscato (CC BY-NC-ND)

The Washington State Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday regarding the constitutionality of the voter-approved charter school law.

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