In Alderwood Associates v. Washington Environmental Council, the Washington Supreme Court reversed a temporary restraining order forbidding the defendant's solicitation or demonstration on plaintiff's privately owned shopping mall. Although there was no majority opinion because the court split four-one-four, the result of the several opinions is that the Washington constitution now bars private as well as state action that interferes with the gathering of initiative signatures on certain private property. However, four justices also concluded that the free speech sections of the Washington constitution restricts private as well as state action. The Alderwood result is desirable, but could have been reached without an abandonment of the state action requirement. Such an abandonment, although subscribed to by less than a majority, strays from principled constitutional analysis and inhibits further reasoned development of the state constitution.
Suzanne Lee Elliott and Jane Elizabeth Pearson, Alderwood Associatesv. Washington Environmental Council: State Action and the Washington State Constitution, 5 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 331 (1982).