The Washington State Supreme Court this morning will hear oral arguments in two cases that could have far reaching impact both within the state and beyond. In Goldmark v. McKenna, the court will consider Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark’s suit to force Attorney General Rob McKenna to represent him in an appeal of a lower court decision, and in Seattle v. McKenna, the court will consider Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes’ petition to force McKenna to withdraw from the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of health care reform.
Both cases center on McKenna’s claim to broad, discretionary, extra-statutory powers, and both could serve to dramatically redefine the scope and power of the office. And of course, both cases have been reported here on HA in much greater detail than anywhere else in the press.
So my advice to journalists attempting to cover these complicated legal issues is to take advantage of the work I’ve already done, both here and here on the Goldmark case. Really. I’ve done a lot of the leg work for you, and many of the cases I’ve cited are those that will be cited in court. As for Seattle v. McKenna, I’ve covered that less extensively, but there are useful posts on the issues here and here.
Honestly, I know some folks in the media like to dismiss me as a foul-mouthed, partisan muckraker, but I’ve a helluva track record reporting on legal issues, dating back to my dead-on coverage and analysis of the 2004 gubernatorial election contest. So if you want to understand the legal issues in these cases, you’ll read my posts.