Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: SCOTUS

June
5th

Try again for DNA collection after arrest

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a Maryland DNA case should give new life to efforts that died last year in the Legislature.

Those efforts held promise for solving serious cold cases and for exonerating people who may have been wrongfully convicted of crimes.

As a House member in 2012, state Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, sponsored a bill that would have required collection of DNA samples from persons arrested for major felonies and two gross misdemeanors (stalking and violating a protection order). State law already allows for DNA collection upon conviction or

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Oct.
28th

At least tell us who’s behind those big-money hits

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

The first election campaign in the post-Citizens United era is nearing an end, and it won’t be quickly enough for most Americans.

They’ve been bombarded by billions of dollars worth of TV ads, most of them negative. That’s especially true in critical swing states. At least Washington residents can thank the fact that this state’s electoral votes for president are all but sewn up, sparing us the national ad onslaught plaguing battleground states like Ohio, Florida and Colorado.

Still, plenty of outside money – from the so-called super PACs, interest groups, unions, corporate donors and wealthy individuals – has poured into Washington to buy ads trying to influence statewide and congresssional races. How to tell which ones they are? Generally the tipoff is that they don’t end with a candidate saying, “I’m so-and-so, and I approved this message.”
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April
4th

Citizens United bodes ill for Washington’s judicial races

This editorial appears in Wednesday’s print edition.

Washingtonians beware. The incentives to buy justice with campaign dollars are so great that it’s only a matter of time before the new super PACs come shopping for Supreme Court seats in Olympia.

The Washington Post reported last week that jurists in some states are preparing to defend themselves against unprecedented barrages of media attacks funded with unprecedented war chests. The stage was set in 2010 by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which eradicated long-standing restrictions on campaign contributions from corporations and unions.

The decision provided for no firewalls between political and judicial elections. In states that insist on using popularity contests to pick their judges, the threat to an impartial judiciary is obvious. Read more »

Jan.
13th

Super PACs ratcheting up heat in 2012 campaign

This editorial appears in Friday’s print edition.

Mix unlimited campaign donations with the very weakest pinch of disclosure. Throw into an overheated primary season and what happens?

One need only look at all the attack ads in Iowa and New Hampshire paid for by the so-called super PACs supporting Republican candidates – groups with such names as Restore Our Future (Mitt Romney), Winning Our Future (Newt Gingrich) and the Revolution PAC (Ron Paul). Waiting in the wings: The already well-larded Priorities USA Action super PAC supporting President Barack Obama’s re-election and the prospect of super PACs trying to influence congressional races as well. Read more »