Judge to decide Wed. if Burien sanctuary law repeal remains on Nov. 7 ballot

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By Jack Mayne

A Superior Court judge in Kent tomorrow (Wed., Sept. 13) will decide whether or not the repeal of the Burien sanctuary law will appear on the Nov. 7 general election ballot (download PDF here).

In any case, the city will not take a stand supporting or opposing its potential revocation after the election.

Committee formed
Last Sunday (Sept. 10), Burien City Attorney Lisa Marshall received an email from the attorney representing an organization known as the Burien Communities for Inclusion, a political committee that said a suit was filed the previous Friday, seeking the court’s granting a “declaratory judgment” that the Burien Sanctuary repeal ordinance “is outside the scope of the city’s initiative power and is otherwise invalid.”

The group wanted the court to prohibit the measure – Initiative Measure No. 1 – from appearing on the Nov. 7 ballot.

On the following Monday, an unnamed Superior Court Judge at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent signed a temporary restraining order.

Final action on the request to keep the measure off the November ballot will be decided at a hearing on Wednesday in Kent.

City Attorney Lisa Marshall said Burien has followed state law “in regards to Burien Initiative No. 1” and “complied with this law when on Aug. 7, the City Council voted 6-0 (one abstention) to send the petition to the ballot” and “whether an initiative’s subject matter is within the scope authorized by law is “exclusively a judicial function, not a role for other government actors.”

The city has “not taken an official vote in support of or in opposition to Initiative 1” and because state law prohibits use of city money for or against a ballot measure, “we will be taking a neutral position in the litigation and will abide by the orders of the Superior Court” after the hearing tomorrow.

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6 Responses to “Judge to decide Wed. if Burien sanctuary law repeal remains on Nov. 7 ballot”
  1. Scott says:

    So, we now have a lawsuit to challenge a valid initiative, with signatures of Burien voters, that goes against what a vocal minority, wants for the city.

    Let the voters decide, which is what the process is all about.

    Talk about disenfranchisement of the voter! There is a certain faction that claims this all the time. When the shoe is on the other foot, they turn a blind eye. If you agree, all is good, if you disagree, file a lawsuit.

    Let the voters decide the direction of THEIR city rather than council, which appears to have their own agenda, citizens be darned.

    The initiative is valid and the citizens have shown they want a voice, give it to them.


  2. murlynd says:

    I thought we lived in a democratic society. Make your case. Put it on the ballot. Whoever wins, wins. I don’t understand why we can’t just vote. Is it the politicians community or ours? Voting is the most American thing you can do.

  3. Question Authority says:

    If the City hadn’t succumb to pure outside Liberal political pressure while trying to be hip and cool, an unnecessary Sanctuary ordinance wouldn’t have been adopted. None of this after the fact nonsense needed to take place, what’s next disbanding of the City government for honoring a legal vote?

  4. Burien voter says:

    Dear Scott:

    The validity of the initiative has been challenged in court. Whether the initiative is valid or not is for the judge to decide. Not you.

  5. Dave says:

    Wanting to correct the record, the restraining order is not to block the measure but to stop King County Elections from printing and mailing ballots and voter guides until a decision is made. There has been no ruling on this item. 2) there is no anti immigrant campaign and there has never been one as asserted by the Stranger. This ordinance changed nothing as king county sherrifs have been operating in sanctuary mode for over 20 years 3) nobody is using fear mongering rhetoric or Trump Style politics in Burien except those who don’t believe in a public vote who are in court drumming up all kinds of tales about hate that occurred while Burien was a sanctuary city. 4) no city employee for any reason ever asked about religious affiliation 5) the only thing that will happen if the measure passes is the city of Burien will replace the box for workers that says can you legally work in the United States, Burien police still will never ask immigration status from citizens.

  6. MichaelJ says:

    Interesting angle on this. If the court decides that intitiative was out of scope, say good night Irene and move on.

    If it is in scope, and voted to keep it, say good night Irene and move on.

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