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Supreme Court to review deadly force initiative

OLYMPIA – The Washington Supreme Court will decide whether voters should vote on an initiative that would change state laws on police use of deadly force.

On Wednesday the court set a hearing on the appeal of a Thurston County Superior Court ruling that the Legislature improperly amended the initiative in an attempt to keep it off the ballot.

State law says an initiative to the Legislature must either be passed as is by lawmakers, or go on the ballot if they either refuse to pass it or pass an alternative. This year, after consultations with the sponsors and law enforcement officials, lawmakers approved amendments to Initiative 940, then passed the initiative.

That unprecedented maneuver doesn’t pass constitutional muster, Judge Christine Schaller said in April. I-940 should go on the November ballot, but the changes the Legislature passed, should not, she said.

The Supreme Court scheduled a hearing on the appeal for June 28.