Envision Spokane fires back against mayor's legal challenge

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Envision Spokane is asking a judge to throw out a legal challenge brought by the mayor against the group’s most recent ballot initiative.

Last week, Mayor David Condon filed a lawsuit in Spokane Superior Court to keep Envision’s Worker Bill of Rights initiative off the November ballot, arguing that the measure was too legally flawed.

Earlier this week, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund argued on behalf of Envision in a filing that the mayor lacks the authority to challenge the initiative.

“The Mayor leads the executive branch of the City of Spokane, and is not part of the legislative branch….” reads the filing. “The Council has already approved the Worker Bill of Rights for ballot placement, and declined to consider a pre-election challenge. In bringing this action, the Mayor seeks to interfere with the legislative process of both the Council and the people of Spokane, in violation of the theory of separation of powers and outside of the Mayor's executive authority.”

The primary point of contention with the mayor’s lawsuit is the a provision of the Worker Bill of Rights that seeks to subordinate corporate power. But the response from Envision argues that this portion, if it is in fact legally viable, it can be severed from the rest of the measure.

Clarification: The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is based in Pennsylvania, but has an office in Port Angeles, Washington.