Rep. Kagi notes that Supreme Court ruling clarifies role of legislature and prohibits ‘tyranny of the minority’

Monday, March 4, 2013

By Evan Smith

Democratic 32nd District State Rep. Ruth Kagi says that the State Supreme Court, in overturning the requirement for a two-thirds vote of the legislature to pass tax increases, clarifies the role of the legislature and protects the State against a “tyranny of the minority.”

The Court issued its ruling Thursday, Feb. 28.

Kagi said Monday that the ruling resolves an issue that has been unclear for many years.

She added that the decision clarifies the role of the legislature.

She recalled that, when she was vice president of the State League of Women Voters, she worked to defeat a ballot initiative to establish term limits for legislators.

“The terms of state elected officials are spelled out in our state’s constitution, yet the initiative sought to limit the number of terms a legislator could serve,” she recalled. 
“Although the initiative passed after several attempts, the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. 
“The two-thirds vote requirement faced the same challenge, and the Supreme Court once again ruled that our constitution cannot be changed through initiative. 
“In their words, ‘The supermajority requirement unconstitutionally amends the constitution by imposing a two-thirds vote requirement for tax legislation. More importantly, the supermajority requirement substantially alters our system of government, thus enabling the tyranny of the minority.’”


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