Judge Oberbillig nullifies the law
posted by Tom Patterson
at 23 July, 12:52 PM 0
Judge Robert O practiced judicial nullification in his ruling on the petitions for the sales tax initiative. Alright, I made up the term “judicial nullification”. But it’s a take on the notion, popular in some right wing circles, that juries should be allowed to ignore the law if it would produce an unjust result, say a murderer who was also a domestic abuse victim. I don’t think it’s a great idea because it’s at odds with the rule of law. If laws produce unintended results, it’s far better to change the law (which often happens) and to allow unelected juries to make up the law. Otherwise, the law becomes shifting and unpredictable for those trying to live under it. I don’t know judge those views on jury nullification but he left neither the facts nor the law affect his ruling. Here’s what happened. Advocates seeking to extend the sales tax (you didn’t really believe the promises that would be temporary, did you?) Filed a written petition with the Secretary of State different than the electronic version which was circulated for signatures. The circulated electronic version appropriated hundreds of millions to K – 12 education, which in the official file version went to road construction and universities. The law quite reasonably requires that for signatures to be valid, there can not be significant differences between what is signed and what is filed. Minor differences have been ignored in the past, but not something like this which could well have influenced some decisions to signed the petition. But to judge oh, none of that mattered. The unfettered right of citizens to impose taxes on others should not be held hostage to mere law. The rules, to paraphrase hotel queen Leona Helmsley, there for the little people
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