A controversial ballot initiative allowing Spokane police to ask whether someone is a U.S. citizen will remain stricken from the November ballot.
Commissioner Monica Wasson of the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 3, denied Friday a request from Respect Washington to return Proposition 1 to the November ballot. The measure, which would have excised portions of city law prohibiting city employees from asking about a person’s immigration status, was removed from the ballot by order of Spokane County Superior Court Judge Julie McKay last week, ruling the measure illegally sought to change an administrative policy, not a law.
Wasson ruled that allowing the initiative to go forward in spite of concerns about its legitimacy was a greater harm to the city, Spokane County and a coalition of nonprofits serving immigrants and refugees who sued to keep the measure off the ballot than denying the vote this November. Respect Washington needed a ruling reversing McKay’s decision by Tuesday to get the question back on the ballot.
Craig Keller, head of Respect Washington, vowed in an email after the order was handed down to fight the ruling all the way to the Washington Supreme Court. The next date Proposition 1 would be eligible for the ballot is in 2019.
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