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Miller v. State

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

June 11, 2019

TYLER G. MILLER, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF WASHINGTON, Defendant.

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND

          Robert J. Bryan United States District Judge.

         This matter comes before the Court on the State of Washington's Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 9), the Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of the Court to File a Response to the State's Reply (Dkt. 15), and the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Civil Complaint (Dkt. 10). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motions and the file herein.

         In this case, the Plaintiff seeks a declaration from the Court that RCW § 29A.56.300A, relating to the State's proposed alternative process of allocating its electoral votes for president, is unconstitutional. Dkt. 1. The State now moves to dismiss the Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and because the State is immune from suit in federal court pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Dkt. 9. The Plaintiff moves to amend his complaint. Dkt. 10. For the reasons provided below, Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of the Court to File a Response to the State's Reply (Dkt. 15) should be granted, the State's motion to dismiss (Dkt. 9) should be granted, the Plaintiff's motion to amend (Dkt. 10) should be denied, and the case dismissed.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         A. FACTS

         On July 26, 2009, Washington State joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, with the adoption of RCW § 29A.56.300. Under this statute, Washington's electoral votes for president and vice president could be tied to the national popular vote. RCW § 29A.56.300. Parties do not dispute that the process described in RCW § 29A.56.300 has not been followed. RCW § 29A.56.300 provides that it “shall take effect when states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes have enacted this agreement in substantially the same form and the enactments by such states have taken effect in each state.” Id. Further, there are no allegations regarding when the process might be followed.

         On March 15, 2019, a bill was introduced in the Washington State Legislature to repeal RCW § 29A.56.300 and to withdraw from the interstate compact to elect the president by national popular vote, which is at issue here. 2019 Washington House Bill No. 2146, Washington Sixty-Sixth Legislature - 2019 Regular Session. The bill has been referred to committee. Id.

         B. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The Plaintiff filed his complaint on April 19, 2019, he alleges that RCW § 29A.56.300 “violates Article 1, § 10, cl. 3 of the Constitution by entering Washington into a compact agreement with other states that increases the political power of the member-states over non- member states.” Dkt. 1, at 3. He maintains that “[i]t proscribes a method of Elector selection which violates the rights citizens in both member and non-member states protected under Article 4, § 2, cl. 1 and Amendment 14, § 1.” Id.

         In his proposed amended complaint, the Plaintiff additionally maintains that RCW § 29A.56.300 harms him because:

1) It requires that Mr. Miller have an elective franchise role in the selection of State Electors via a state-wide popular vote and then directs that the State disregard the results of that election, and Mr. Miller's vote, when actually appointing the Electors. 2) It grants the citizens of other States the right of suffrage in Washington State while granting no reciprocal suffrage to Mr. Miller or other Washington citizens. 3) It requires that the State give privilege to the votes of non-citizens over that of Mr. Miller and other Washington citizens in the appointment of the State's Presidential Electors. 4) It dilutes Mr. Miller's suffrage by expanding the body politic of the electorate beyond Washington State lines of sovereignty and jurisdiction, creating a Federal Voting Class that encroaches upon Federal authority. 5) It allows the laws of other States concerning, inter alia, elector qualifications to alter and control the laws of Washington State against the will and without the consent of the citizens of Washington State.

Dkt. 10-1, at 3-4. In addition to the constitutional provisions referenced above, the Plaintiff lists “Article 2, § 1, cl. 2, ” “Amendment 14 § 2, ” “28 U.S.C. 1331, 1343, 1357; and 42 U.S.C. 1983, 1985, and 1988” as being “at issue in this case.” Id.

         The Plaintiff seeks a declaration that RCW § 29A.56.300 is unconstitutional and that it “be struck from the Revised Code of Washington.” Dkt. 1 and 10-1.

         C. ...


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