Olympia May Be Cutting Justices - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Olympia May Be Cutting Justices

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Still stinging from a Supreme Court ruling last week that overturned tax-increase constraints on the Legislature, three Republican senators have introduced a bill seeking to cut the high court by four justices.    

The measure, introduced Wednesday, would require a public meeting for the current nine justices to draw straws. The four that draw the shortest straws "shall be terminated and those judges shall not serve the remainder of their respective unexpired terms."    

Any savings to the state would be used to fund basic education. That section is a reference to the court's order that the Legislature is not fulfilling its constitutional duty to pay for education in the state.    

Republican Sen. Michael Baumgartner of Spokane insists it's not a joke, saying that as the Legislature looks to make cuts in other areas of state government, "why should the judiciary be exempt?"

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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