Below is an earlier version of this report.
A Superior Court judge denied this afternoon Spokane Mayor David Condon’s request to block Envision Spokane’s Worker Bill of Rights from appearing on the Nov. 3 ballot, saying that the state Supreme Court generally rules that “it is not a favored act to restrain or prevent an election to occur.” Judge Salvatore Cozza said further that Condon and the city’s argument about the ballot measuring being, in part, unconstitutional “is not grounds to prevent an election from going forward.” Cozza did agree with Condon that a mayor has the authority to “initiate and control litigation,” noting that previous cases and the city charter allows such an action. “Charters are not written haphazardly,” Cozza said. “They are written in a certain way for a certain reason.” Cozza noted that even though he allowed the measure to appear on the ballot, it could follow the path of Envision’s 2013 measure, which was challenged by a coalition of government representatives and business groups, and is currently pending before the state Supreme Court. This measure “may very well end up in the same situation,” Cozza said. After his ruling, the city’s special counsel, Michael Ryan, asked the judge to petition the state appellate court to hear the case and rule quickly, if the city did decide to appeal. Cozza agreed. “At this time, the city has made no decision to appeal,” Ryan said after the ruling. “All this does is preserve my client’s rights.” Lindsay Shromen-Wawrin, who represented Envision, applauded today’s ruling. “He made the right decision,” he said of Cozza.
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