All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Washington State Supreme Court

We are in the midst of a unique political season. There may not be a consensus regarding candidates at the national level, but we all can join together to make a HUGE difference in our state. Greg Zempel, the popular six-term prosecutor from Kittitas County, is running for Washington State Supreme Court Justice (Position 5). We all need him on our state’s highest court.

As you know, I am a close observer of the state Supreme Court and I can tell you, this court has lost the respect of many, as long established precedents in criminal law are replaced with result-oriented, unworkable decisions. This means that our police, prosecutors and trial judges are uncertain about how to proceed in many cases. There is a public safety cost to this uncertainty, as some criminals go free who should remain incarcerated.

The Court’s overreach is unmistakable. As you likely have heard, the justices are holding the legislature in contempt because of funding choices they don’t agree with. They are fining “the state” (i.e., all of us) $100,000 a day, raising serious questions about the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of our state government.

Voter-approved charter schools were also nearly closed by the Supreme Court, threatening some of the most at-risk and deserving children in our state with the loss of schools they love just a day before the new school year was to begin.

Another voter-approved initiative, I-1053, was also overturned by the Court even though the voters have made it clear again and again that they want to require a 2/3 legislative majority for raising taxes.

Greg Zempel was elected in 1994 as the Kittitas County Prosecutor and has been re-elected five times. He has practiced at every court level in our system, from district court to the Washington State Supreme Court, and tried well over 100 jury trials as a defense attorney (his former career) and prosecutor.

Zempel was instrumental in creating the Sexual Assault Interagency Coalition, and Protecting Our Children, a community organization that educates parents on protecting their children from predators. Zempel also assisted in creating the Kittitas County Drug Court which functions to change the lives of drug addicts whose criminal conduct impacts our communities.

Prosecutor Zempel is committed to strengthening public safety according to the rule of law and the rights and freedoms protected in our state constitution.

-- Rob McKenna

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Washington State Impolite endorses Greg Zempel, Judge Dave Larson, and David DeWolf for Supreme Cour.

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