I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family, along with the first snow storm of the season! For the past several days, I’ve been in the other Washington attending the National Association of Attorneys General Winter Meeting. I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow I left the snow and freezing temperatures in our Washington only to find mild weather and lots of rain on the East Coast, so I’m feeling right at home here and want to update you on the latest news from the AGO.
I’m sending you this special edition of McKenna’s Must Read to share the news of our final victory in the 14-year Farrakhan (felon voter) litigation. On October 7, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous ruling upholding our state’s felon voting laws and rejecting its own earlier rulings that applied the federal Voting Rights Act to Washington’s felon disenfranchisement law.
The theme of this edition of McKenna’s Must Read is protection, as in: Protecting Online Privacy, Keeping Children Safe from Pedophiles, Seeing justice done for murder victims, Helping legal immigrants avoid immigration assistance scams, Looking out for Seniors who receive Living Trust pitches, and Protecting consumers from shady window-replacement offers.
As promised last month, I have plenty of news and information to report from the NAAG 2010 summer meeting in Seattle. First, however, I want to share my excitement--and pride--in the work of our Solicitor General’s team in the Doe v. Reed case which I argued in the U.S. Supreme Court on April 28.
Last year was the second deadliest year for law enforcement in our state’s history. On May 7, Governor Chris Gregoire and I awarded 14 law enforcement officers the Medal of Honor, Washington’s highest law enforcement award. This honor is reserved for peace officers who have been killed in the line of duty, or who have distinguished themselves by exceptional meritorious conduct. This year, a record seven Medals were awarded posthumously, including those awarded to all four of the Lakewood Police Department officers who were killed on November 29, 2009. Seven more officers were recognized for their extraordinary courage and valor.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the Attorney General’s Office has received more than 25,000 messages both in support of and against my decision to join the multi-state lawsuit, led by the Florida Attorney General’s Office, challenging specific provisions of the recently enacted federal health care bill. As promised, here is an in-depth look at the issue and some background information, which I hope you will find informative.
It’s been a busy month here at the Attorney General’s Office, with the Legislature in special session and my announcement that Washington has joined a multi-state lawsuit challenging specific provisions of the recently passed federal health care bill. I will send you a separate Must Read on that lawsuit but, in the meantime, I want to share some other March highlights with you.
As you know, the 2010 Legislative Session began last week. This year, in addition to the domestic violence, children exploitation and vulnerable adult legislation I previewed for you last month, we’re also introducing legislation to strengthen consumer protection in Washington, protect private property from eminent domain abuse, and improve access to government.
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