In the realm of constitutional interpretation, the judicial department reigns supreme. League of Education Voters v. State exemplifies the judiciary’s potential abuse of its interpretative role: The Washington Supreme Court misinterpreted its judicial function because it ignored the text of Washington State’s constitution and held a statute unconstitutional. The court, therefore, voided a statute because of judicial volition, not because Washington’s constitution demanded that outcome. This Note challenges the reasoning in League and makes a novel suggestion for Washington State constitutional analysis, an approach that may apply to other states. This Note details a new analytical framework for constitutional analysis through the reformed beyond-a-reasonable-doubt doctrine and applies that framework to the Supermajority issue addressed in League.
Nicholas Carlson, Taxing Judicial Restraint: How Washington's Supreme Court Misinterpreted its Role and the Washington State Constitution, 37 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 865 (2014).