King County Judge orders sanctuary repeal measure off Burien’s Nov. ballot

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By Jack Mayne

The move to repeal the Burien sanctuary ordinance was halted on Thursday (Sept. 14) because it “exceeds the scope of the initiative authority granted to the people of the City of Burien” (download PDF of court doc here)

The order said Measure 1 “exceeds the scope of the initiative authority granted to the people of the City of Burien, that it is administrative in nature.”

The judge said King County Elections “are prohibited from including or placing Measure 1 on the November 7, 2017 ballot.”

King County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Berns said delaying its appearance on the ballot does “injure the city or its residents,” and is not a denial of the value of the move.

“The injury if Measure No. 1 is placed on the ballot now outweighs any delay in having the Measure on the ballot at a future point in time; mere delay is not the same as an outright denial.”

Judge Berns said the political committee that sought the delay – the “Burien Communities For Inclusion – “has established a clear legal right, a well-grounded fear of immediate invasion of that right to put the matter on a public ballot” and if it were on the November ballot it would “result in actual and substantial injury.”

The judge also said the petition used to gather signatures for the issue violated state law by “deviating from the requirements for the contents and form of a petition,” as set forth in state law.

“I’m very happy the lawsuit was successful and that Burien will continue to be a welcoming and inclusive city that cherishes the people from all backgrounds that are proud to call it home,” resident and community activist Hugo Garcia told The B-Town Blog. Garcia is a member of Burien Represent, as well as Burien Communities for Inclusion, which filed the complaint. He is also an immigrant who grew up in B-Town.

Thursday was also the deadline for King County ballots to go to print.

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28 Responses to “King County Judge orders sanctuary repeal measure off Burien’s Nov. ballot”
  1. Tom Taaffe says:

    I ask you opponents of the sanctuary city ( and others who are people of good will) that you google the Simpson’s character Nelson Muntz and make sure that the sound is on. Tom

    • Tony C. says:

      “Tyrant judge”???? Hardly. Fair and just, okay. But “tyrant”? If you’re not Native you might want to curb your appetite for using hurtful words.

  2. Phil says:

    “King County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Berns said delaying its appearance on he ballot does injure the city or its residents and is not a denial of the value of the move.”

    Anybody know what this sentence was meant to say?

    • Captain obvious says:

      I think it’s legal mumble jumbo for . It may make unneeded cost’s in time and money to the city.

      So in a case of if a officer seen a person like the one in your avatar . Even though you may be a perfect legal citizen the time the officer would take to stop you and question you on your citizenship . That officer might be letting actual law breakers go.

  3. Burien voter says:

    Good news. Now let’s elect Olguin, Matta, Tosta, and Marx.

  4. SadBurien says:

    The author of the article quotes a phrase that doesn’t appear in the order. “King County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Berns said delaying its appearance on the ballot does ‘injure the city or its residents’ …”. Why? Hopefully, this is a typo and not a deliberate attempt to mislead the reader.

  5. Seahurst resident says:

    They found the right judge with a ‘not qualified’ rating from the King County Bar Association to issue a political statement. The voters still have their say about the candidates for council.

  6. Phil Dehnert says:

    I can’t understand most of the intentionally confusing legalese in this thing. But to the citizens of Burien I “Think” it says your concerns mean NOTHING to us. We will do whatever we please whenever and wherever we want. We run things in YOUR city. You have NO say it it. Step back! Good luck citizens of Burien. It is NOT your city anymore.

  7. Very Concerned says:

    I want to be able to vote on this issue! Personal responsibility, protection of private property and quality of life for residents!!


    This unqualified judge had no right to stop the legal voter,s from repealing this ……….
    We will elect the city council thou … Wagner Green Manning Janssen

  9. Shannon says:

    Just making sure I understand what the Judge has said….. Wanting the majority of the residents of Burien get to decide how to run their city is beyond the scope of what the residents are allowed to do? We should not be worrying our pretty little heads about it and instead should let the Council do whatever they want regardless of what Federal Laws they may be breaking? It was my understanding that this is (in part) what initiatives were invented for. We are not all going to ever agree on this subject and therefore the reality is that it should be majority rules. Everyone agrees with that until they aren’t a part of the majority.

  10. Jack Trevino says:

    It is the height of arrogance for a group of people to take away from another group of people the right to vote on an issue.

    If the sanctuary city supporters truly believed they had the public’s support on this issue they would welcome a vote. Instead, they must believe that they would lose in an open election. Because of that the Burien City Council should repeal the sanctuary city status and have the supporters of that designation bring about a vote on the issue.

    What a political mess the city of Burien has become in so many different ways.

  11. Question Authority says:

    Who wants four more years of grandstanding and missed opportunities to make Burien safer, more prosperous and less dysfunctional ? Who wants the same failures that affect Seattle through their ultra Liberal Council members like Sawant and O’Brian etc ? It was those same and like minded affiliates on our Council who brought us this mess so why even consider electing the “MTOM” of the “NOMTOM” We are not Seattle nor Berkeley so why would we ruin Burien electing those four.

    • Ben Hennessy says:

      Letting minorities interact with the police without fear of repercussions actually keeps Burien safer. Crime is not even bad in the city proper. You want to see crime? Go to a liberal city in a conservative state.

  12. MichaelJ says:

    Those that are whining about the vote being “taken away,” should get someone who knows how to write a legally valid initiative first. Using their own money, and sponsored by an actual Burien resident.

    If every decsion the Council makes is subject to a vote on the ballot, nothing would ever be done…They are elected to make decisions regarding allocation of city resources.

    Those who think that they should have a vote on the ballot for every decsion the Council makes within the scope of their elected responsiblities can still vote on them in November if they disagree with those decisions.

    As far as this petition goes, Good Night Irene. The backers attorney already said it won’t be appealed. Let’s get back to actual issues that matter most to the city and the actual majority of it’s residents.

    But I know some of you won’t…

    • Question Authority says:

      Get back to issues that matter, you mean like running the City verses creating policies and stances that are pure unnecessary fluff as they already existed. That’s why the Liberals on the council need to go and four more need to be shunned for the good of Burien.
      “NOMTOM” For the sake of Burien, and mankind.

  13. Jack Trevino says:

    MichaelJ, nice way to set up a straw man argument no one is making and arguing against it. Please quote one place where anyone said the public should vote on every decision the council makes. Wait, you can’t.

    I am sure you would be first in line to vote for the sanctuary city status if it had not been passed by the city and was on the ballot. Instead you stand behind the tyranny of an unelected judge. Democracy is only good when it favors your position, right? Thought so.

    • MichaelJ says:

      It is not a straw man. It sets a bad precident for policy decsions regarding city resource allocation they were elected to make.

      The initiative language was ruled not in compliance with the legal requirments in the first place. That means it is invalid and cannot be voted upon. I don’t argue against a vote per se, as I was never worried about the ordinance being rejected by the vote. You apparently were.

      We all have a vote on this anyway–for or against the incumbents who both approved it and rejected it. Exercise that right, rather than make assumptions out of ignorance, and Burien will be far better for it.

  14. Tom Taaffe says:

    Jack: The tyrant judge was in fact elected. Tom

  15. Concerned Citizen says:


  16. Dan says:

    Now we can start kicking all the councilman and councilwoman that supports santuary city out of the office…

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