United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
TYLER G. MILLER, Plaintiff,
STATE OF WASHINGTON, Defendant.
ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND
J. Bryan United States District Judge.
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.
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.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.