The Seattle Times has an editorial about the Initiative 1053 ruling.
We do not argue that Heller is legally mistaken. The Washington Constitution does not allow an initiative to raise the threshold for passing a law. Nor does it disallow it. Given that the Supreme Court can decide either way, we believe the court should let the people have what they want.
If it doesn’t allow it, it’s kind of the definition of beyond the prevue of the initiative process. And as Goldy notes, the state constitution is clear about what requires more than 2/3 to pass. And it’s not taxes.
But whatever, this is a particularly poor way of putting it but the logic that a majority vote should trump the constitution is pretty pervasive. So in the spirit of goodwill, here’s a list of other potential initiatives we could have that modify what the state constitution does without, I guess, bothering to modify the state constitution. These are all things I’d support in theory, but should be overturned if they passed as an initiative. I’m not sure any of them would pass, but you never know until you try.
– Obviously, a requirement that it takes a 2/3 vote of the legislature to cut social services and education. They’ve been cut to the bone, and beyond. If that passed, maybe we could have a reasonable discussion about tax policy versus spending. Obviously, I support this in a world where there’s a 2/3 requirement to cut taxes, not in the ideal world.
– Severe gun control measures. Sure, the state’s version of the second amendment (article 1, section 24) is stronger than the federal one. I think there are some reasonable gun control measures that can be passed, but would run into that if we go too far. But never mind that if 50% + 1 voters say it’s a good idea, we can outlaw firearms.
– A parliamentary system. Sure, sure, our constitution is pretty clear about us having a bicameral legislature and an executive. But if the people vote for a different system, why go through the hassle of changing the constitution?
– Or we could maybe change how legislators are elected. A lot of democracies have the percent of the vote be the distribution in the legislature. If 50% +1 want it, no need for a pesky, difficult to get constitutional amendment.