Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2014 NO. 1 >


  1. If the county commission appoints a person to fill a vacancy in the office of county prosecuting attorney within 60 days of the vacancy occuring, but the appointee declines to accept the position, the authority to fill the vacancy does not transfer to the governor 60 days after the initial vacancy arose.
  2. If an individual appointed by a county commission to fill a vacancy in the office of county prosecuting attorney declines to accept the position, the county commission may request that the relevant political party provide a new list of three nominees.
  3. The county commission lacks the authority to appoint a person who has not been nominated by the relevant political party to fill a vacancy in the office of county prosecuting attorney.
  4. If the county commission appoints an individual who has not been nominated by the relevant political party to fill a vacancy in the office of county prosecuting attorney, that individual lacks the legal authority to act as prosecuting attorney.
AGO 2001 NO. 2 >

Article II, section 40 of the Washington Constitution requires revenues from taxes measured by the volume of motor vehicle fuel to be used exclusively for highway purposes; a tax measured by the value of the product sold rather than the volume would probably not be subject to this constitutional restriction unless the tax were structured in such a way that it was really on volume and not on value.

AGO 1999 NO. 4 >

1. The Commission on Judicial Conduct lacks authority to divide its members into separate investigatory and adjudicative panels.   2. It is not a “temporary disability, disqualification, or inability to serve” for a member of the Commission on Judicial Conduct to have participated in the investigative phase of a complaint or case; this fact would not justify empaneling the member's alternative to serve in his/her place during the adjudicative phase of the same proceeding.   3. The Commission on Judicial Conduct may not use its alternative members to serve as “permanent” members as part of a scheme to divide the Commission into investigatory and adjudicative panels; the constitution evidences an intent that the same body exercise both functions.

AGO 2001 NO. 9 >

The Courts are unlikely to find unconstitutional a temporary rule of the House of Representatives which requires consent of both co-speakers to bring a matter before the House for business. Such a rule appears to be consistent with the equal protection provisions of both the United States and Washington Constitutions, and with constitutional provisions governing the rights and duties of legislators, especially where the House provides alternative methods for bringing matters before the House or provides ways by which a majority of the House could repeal or amend the House rules.

AGO 1963 NO. 51 >

Whether House Joint Memorial No. 1 of the 1963 Washington legislature will be counted along with similar but nonidentical memorials from other states is a question to be decided by the federal congress.  This Memorial proposes an amendment to the United States Constitution eliminating federal judicial review of state legislative apportionment laws in states where the people have the right of initiative.

AGLO 1973 NO. 52 >

The continuing existence of the Washington State Women's Council does not constitute a violation of Amendment 61 to the state Constitution which was approved by the voters at the November, 1972, general election.

AGO 1950 NO. 305 >

Constitutional provisions for publication of proposed amendments to constitution, and of measures referred to the people are mandatory, and compliance with such provisions is a necessary prerequisite to the validity of such amendments and measures.

AGO 1951 NO. 441 >

The State of Washington may not acquire, directly, or by lease, docking facilities owned by a foreign country without the consent of Congress, however, it may enter into such an agreement with a corporation or individual of a foreign country without obtaining consent of Congress.