NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
A Thurston County Superior Court judge dismissed a challenge on Sept. 5 by the Initiative 1000 campaign contending that affirmative action opponents are making false claims about the new law in voter-pamphlet language for the Nov. 5 election.
I-1000, which the Washington Legislature passed this past spring, restores affirmative action after a 20-year voter-approved prohibition on the practice.
Opponents of affirmative action this summer gathered enough signatures to put the new law on the November ballot as Referendum 88.
The I-1000 campaign brought the challenge, claiming the Referendum 88 campaign included misleading and false descriptions of the new law in the pamphlet that will be mailed to voters before the election, such as saying the law would harm veterans and reinstate racial quotas.
The Referendum 88 campaign is arguing, however, that the new law allows preferential treatment and would also end preferences for veterans.
Judge James Dixon dismissed the lawsuit on Sept. 5, saying that Washington law regarding defamation challenges to voter pamphlets focuses on how it applies to candidates, not people working on ballot-measure campaigns.
The hearing comes as part of what could be a bitter fall campaign over issues of race and equity.