The first amendment on display in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

‘Make No Law’ Undergirds the Rule of Law

On May 1 — Law Day 2019 — we honor a constitutional provision that says “make no law,” as we commemorate the rule of law in the United States. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; […]

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Muslim girl leading a protest march in Seattle

Supporting Our Muslim Neighbors

Supporting the rights of our Muslim neighbors is important; any lessening of their rights affects us all. The time to speak up is now. This year Dee, my spouse, and I became more politically active than we have been in the past. We marched in the MLK Seattle march for the first time and in […]

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Case Law Changes to Mandatory Blood Tests

Under State v. Gauthier, citizens have the right to refuse a warrantless blood test, and such refusal cannot be used as evidence at trial. Defense attorneys have argued for years that a breath or blood test constitutes a search and that without a warrant, citizens should have the right to refuse the search without consequence. Washington courts […]

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Baby Veronica: SCOTUS Rules

Review the Court’s reasoning and learn what comes next for the parties in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. Remember that your children are not your own, but are lent to you by the Creator. — Native American Proverb The story of 4-year-old Baby Veronica in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, 2013 WL 3184627 was lost […]

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SCOTUS Approves Use of Pre-Miranda Silence as Evidence of Guilt

Learn more about the Salinas v. Texas ruling and how it could affect cases in Washington. On June 17, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States continued its stream of criminal procedure holdings, this time “holding” that the prosecutor’s use of a defendant’s pre-Miranda silence as evidence of guilt does not violate the defendant’s Fifth […]

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SCOTUS Clarifies DUI Blood Draw Warrant Requirement

A look at Missouri v. McNeely and its impact for practitioners in Washington state. Last week, the United States Supreme Court filed its opinion in Missouri v. McNeely, No. 11-1425, 2013 WL 1628934 (U.S. Apr. 17, 2013). This decision was widely publicized with headlines proclaiming that the Court now requires warrants for blood draws. Despite these headlines, that is […]

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50 years after Gideon: should the right to counsel be expanded?

Pre-trial proceedings, like bail hearings, are critical in criminal cases. Should the right to counsel be expanded to cover them? Last month marked the 50-year anniversary of the seminal U.S. Supreme Court Case Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335, 83 S. Ct. 792 (1963), where the Court held that the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provided […]

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