December will bring new developments in Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s appeal of the recall case against her to the State Supreme Court.
Sawant’s legal team launched the appeal in October following a King County Superior Court judge’s decision that allowed the recall effort against the District 3 representative and longest serving member of the council to move forward.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to take up and decide on the appeal January 7th in a session in which legal briefs from Sawant’s team and lawyers for the Recall Sawant campaign will be considered but there will be no oral arguments.
In the first Appellants Brief (PDF) filed last week, Sawant’s lawyers from Barnard Iglitzin & Lavitt LLP — “the Pacific Northwest’s largest union-side labor and employment law firm” — repeat their arguments as to why the superior court erred in determining that the charges brought against Sawant were “legally and factually sufficient to support a recall.”
The brief also contends that the judge approved a ballot synopsis that “inaccurately conveys to voters that Sawant has been deemed to have committed the acts alleged.”
In September, the King County Superior Court certified a recall petition against the socialist councilmember on four allegations involving her participation in a brief June occupation protest inside City Hall, a rally and march to Mayor Durkan’s home at the end of that same month, the delegation of hiring decisions to Sawant’s political group Socialist Alternative, and the use of city resources to promote the Tax Amazon ballot initiative.
In addition to the appeal, Sawant’s camp has been busy with fundraising for her defense as both sides in the battle are making appeals for donations. Through this week, the Sawant Solidarity fund has reported just under $100,000 in contributions. The Recall Sawant campaigns reports more than $180,000.
Seattle City Council Insight reports that with the January timing for the Supreme Court decision, if the appeal is denied, it is unlikely the recall campaign will be able to gather enough signatures to get the issue on the ballot in time for an April election pushing any vote on the matter to the fall of 2021.
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